CHESTER, Pa., Oct. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Residential electricity costs have risen 35 percent in the past decade, and as temperatures on the East Coast begin to fall, homeowners are bracing for another long, cold and expensive winter. Many homes are improperly prepared for the elements as drafty windows, leaking roofs and uninsulated spaces allow warm air to escape. As winter quickly approaches, Power Home Remodeling Group, the nation's fourth largest home remodeling company, empowers homeowners with do-it-yourself ("DIY") weatherization tips for the five most energy-important areas of the home.
"Homeowners have become poignantly aware of the importance of energy efficiency and home weatherization as the cost of homeownership rises and the economy lags," says Jeff Kaliner, Power co-founder and chief executive officer. "People who wouldn't typically give their energy bills a second thought are now seeking ways to save money, especially on the East Coast where the temperature changes so drastically throughout the year."
Power offers homeowners tips for weatherizing the five most energy-important areas of the home:
- Windows and doors: Warm air in the home escapes to the outside through leaks in older doors and windows, known as "convective heat loss." Single pane windows are the most inefficient, but older double-pane vinyl designs can also leak warm air, particularly if they were installed incorrectly. Though replacing older windows and doors is the most energy-efficient way to go, a few DIY options can also help make an impact. Seal window and door frames with caulk, and utilize air blockers like shrink wrap and weather stripping to keep cold air out. If larger cracks exist around the frame, use an expandable foam, spray insulation.
- Roof and gutters: What may seem to be small problems with a roof and/or gutter system can become a huge headache in rough winter weather through a process called ice damming. Ice damming occurs when heat escaping from the attic melts ice and snow. As this water refreezes, it expands, oftentimes under your shingles or in your gutters. The force of ice as it refreezes is tremendous and can wreak havoc on roofing materials such as wood, aluminum and asphalt shingles. To guard against ice damming, be sure to replace any missing roof tiles, fix leaks and unblock gutters to allow melting ice to easily flow away from the home. Most manufacturers carry a specialty product called Ice and Water Shield ™ to prevent ice damming, which is applied during a roofing installation.
- Attic: A lack of insulation in the attic will have money escaping from your wallet as quickly as the heat is escaping from your top floor. Attic insulation is also a huge factor in preventing ice damming. Easily install insulation by laying sections of batting between floor joists. Always remember to wear a protective mask, glasses and gloves when handling insulation, especially fiberglass.
- Pipes and ducts: The expense of heating air and water in the winter can quickly rise if pipes and ducts aren't properly sealed and insulated. First seal any air leaks with duct tape. Then, cut insulation batting to fit around the pipe or duct, put it in place and secure with more duct tape. Consider wrapping your hot water heater in insulation, or you can turn down the thermostat on your water heater by just a few degrees, to pack an even bigger punch throughout the winter months.
- Heating system: Installing a programmable thermostat is one of the easiest and most cost effective weatherization tactics available to homeowners. By adjusting the temperature of rooms when you're sleeping or at work, programmable thermostats ensure your house is only using heat when necessary, saving about $180 on average per year in energy costs. Have your heating system serviced at the beginning of each system to ensure it is working as efficiently as possible. Close heating vents to unused rooms and put air conditioning vent covers in place.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) suggests homeowners knowledgeable in weatherization tactics can save up to 20 percent on heating costs by simply sealing and insulating their home. Both the Obama Administration and the DOE have made home weatherization a top priority due to its dramatic effect on utility costs.
Power's home experts are well equipped to assist homeowners in identifying weatherization areas and developing energy-efficient solutions. Homeowners interested in updating their homes can contact Power for a free in-home evaluation at 888-REMODEL or PowerHRG.com.
About Power Home Remodeling Group
Family-owned since 1992, Power Home Remodeling Group is the nation's fourth largest home remodeling company with more than 1100 employees and $135 million in sales. Headquartered in Chester, Pa., Power provides energy-saving and environmentally friendly exterior remodeling solutions to residents on the East Coast, including Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, DC. An Inc. 5000 company, Power has served more than 50,000 homeowners and is recognized as a home improvement leader by its 2009 "Dealer of the Year" award from Window and Door Magazine and the 2011 "Top Workplace" from The Philadelphia Inquirer. For more information, please visit PowerHRG.com.
Follow us on Twitter @PowerHRG
SOURCE Power Home Remodeling Group