Prepare for winter: an energy audit points the way

| 29 Sep 2011 | 09:47

    MILFORD - Last year’s energy surprise from Orange and Rockland has residents looking for ways to conserve on their energy bills going forward into this winter. The Pike County Builders Association is offering a series of tips to help homeowners save this winter. The best way to start preparing for winter now is to do your own home energy audit. Think about where you lost heat last winter, how high your fuel or electric bills were and where you may need insulation. Taking care of these small things now will help you prepare for the months to come. Look around your home for cracks, leaks or broken seals. Use caulk or weather stripping to repair them appropriately. When you are sealing your home for the winter, be sure to seal your vents properly and weather strip around the doors and windows. Check the insulation around your home. It is standard for homes to have the walls insulated, but check your attic, a large area of heat loss. Insulate your attic floor and attic ceiling to keep heat below. To keep from losing heat or having to reheat, be sure your hot water heater has an insulation blanket in addition to your hot water pipes and ducts. The biggest energy leaks in your home may not be your windows and doors; check out the gaps in the utility pipes into your home, around chimneys, space around recessed ceiling lights and unfinished spaces behind cabinets and closets. These areas all need to be winterized. Install storm shutters, doors and windows to help reduce energy loss. Have a contractor check the stability of your roof and repair any leaks in preparation for a large snowfall. Install a programmable thermostat that will lower your heat automatically at night or in the afternoon when you are away. The easiest thing you can do now to save later is to review last year’s bills for energy use. Separate your electric from your fuel bills and decide where necessary conservation or repairs need to be made. With some time to prepare, you won’t be caught off-guard this winter. For more information call 570-296-5589 or visit .