new members

PO Box 2901
Augusta, ME
(207) 622-1863


Winterizing Your Home
Author: John Bogdanski
Article:  Strategies to Combat Heat Loss in your Home

The objective of any comprehensive heating program is to allow 
maximum heating at the lowest cost. The three areas of influence
that you, the consumer, control are: winterization of your home,  
heating oil costs and appliance efficiency. While the latter two  
are important to an overall program, winterizing your home is an  
integral part of any successful program. A well thought out and  
executed program for winterizing your home will invariably give  
you the largest return on investment of the three. Savings can  
range from 5-20% by employing these simple, yet inexpensive,  
A good winterization program is composed of three main elements:
* Appliance performance 
* Personal behaviors 
* Structural  considerations
    Appliance performance:    
* Change air filters in your furnace at least once a month. 
Air filters allow only clean air into the furnace, keeping the  
mechanics dirt and grim free. A dirty furnace works twice as  
hard as a clean one.    
* Insulate your water heater if using heating oil. Maintaining  
the temperature longer requires less fuel consumption.    
* Keep vents obstructions free. Use deflectors to re-route air  
around obstructions.    
* Use humidifiers. Moist air creates a humid effect making your  
home feel warmer.    
    Personal behaviors:    
* Open the curtains when sunlight is available and close them  
when it is not.    
* Use common sense. Re-evaluate your actual living space. Close  
off spare bedrooms and other areas not requiring heat. Restrict  
the in and out traffic of children. Dress warmly.    
* Lower the settings on thermostats and consider using  
programmable thermostats that automatically vary heat settings  
throughout a 24-hour period    
* Use ceiling fans can keep the air circulating and spread the  
heat in each room. Structural considerations:    
* Check the heating ductwork. Insure sections are tightly  
fitted, free of holes and sealed with tape. Aluminum tape is a  
little more expensive, but holds up better under moisture from  
condensation. Winterizing ductwork by wrapping it in insulation  
is another option.    
* Cold floors result in air inside the home cooling off and  
requiring re-heating. While some ventilation is required to  
reduce moisture, check the crawl space for excessive drafts.  
Seal these with plastic, plywood or Styrofoam. A vapor barrier  
may reduce excessive dampness as a means of further winterizing  
the crawl space.    
* An annual inspection of exterior caulking around all window  
and door casings is recommended. Check window glazing in older  
windows as another source of heat loss.    
* Consider winterizing water lines with foam sleeves. It  
prevents freezing and keeps water as warm as possible.    
* Check for drafts around external openings in the house:  
windows, doors and chimneys. This can be done with a cigarette  
or incense. Follow the smoke to the source of the draft. Your  
local home supply store will carry winterization tape,  
insulating foam, or caulk that will seal these leaks; keeping  
heat in and cold out.    
* Older single-pane windows often allow heat loss through the  
framing of the window itself. Covering these windows with clear  
plastic will help remedy this winterization deficiency.    
Note: Care must be taken not to exclude the entrance of all  
fresh air.    
* Insure you have 6-8 inches of insulation in your attic or loft  
area. Heat is lost through the roof if improperly insulated.  
Materials for this are available at your local home improvement store.    
This is not a total list of all that can be done, but it should  
get you started on your individual winterization program. Look  
around your home and think it through. Each situation is unique  
and will offer you opportunities to save money if you winterize  
properly. STAY WARM!

About the author:  Do your research,save yourself some money. 
John Bogdanski a renegade Oil Heat marketing executive, rips open the
curtain, exposing the industry.