Because of the weather in my area, tightening up the home is a major priority.
During the summer months, the temperature sometimes climbs into the nineties and there’s typically very high humidity. The winters are absolutely brutal, with negative degree temperatures and bitter windchill. The cost of keeping a comfortable home is responsible for approximately half of our energy usage. The furnace and air conditioner carry a very demanding workload. I often run the furnace for six straight months. Because of the impact on my budget, I take every opportunity to eliminate energy waste. I try to tighten up the house and prevent the heated or cooled air from escaping. My house is very big and very old, and there are a lot of areas that needed improvement. Some updates were simple and not all that expensive. I tube of caulk and weatherstripping only costs a few dollars, but make a significant difference. Replacing the windows, however, was super expensive. I had to invest in one window at a time and learned how to install them myself. I spent extra to take advantage of thermal pane, Energy Star rated windows. I had to save up to buy a new front and back door. To add insulation to the walls and ceilings without a major renovation project, I hired a local HVAC contractor. They provided blown-in insulation that conforms to odd shapes and fills in tight crevices. My husband and I tackled the insulation in the attic on our own. The job was awful and time-consuming but definitely worthwhile. Because of these efforts, the furnace and air conditioner are able to maintain a more even temperature and use less energy.