A Guide to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Guide to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning (CO Poisoning)

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How to Save Money by Winterizing Your Home

Winter is the season for cold weather. As snow flutters through the air and lakes turn to ice, it is important to know how to winterize a home to prevent damage and save on energy bills. An emergency repair on a burst water pipe can cost you an arm and a leg and cracks in your window panes, crooked doors, and insufficient insulation all contribute to your heater working harder than it should. With heating costs on the rise, it is too expensive to heat your home and the great outdoors.

Tips on How to Winterize a Home on a Budget

Winterize your homeInsulate any exposed water pipes and spigots to prevent freezing and bursting. You can use foam pipe insulation that is cut on one side with taped adhesive so it can be easily applied and sealed around exposed pipe. Spigot covers are available at your local hardware store, but simply wrapping the spigot in an old towel and securing it with duct tape will do the trick when you’re in a pinch.

  • Close all of your foundation vents. These vents stay open to keep the air flowing during the warmer months, but need to be closed during the winter to protect your plumbing and prevent warm air loss to your attic. If you’d like to check this off the list for next year, automatic foundation vents will do the job for you and are available for around $10 a piece.
  • Caulking the cracks in your window panes prevents warm air from leaking outdoors. Also add caulk around each of your door frames and window panes to stop cold air from seeping inside. In addition, you might consider a spray foam product for larger cracks or for gaps where holes are cut for utilities to pass through.
  • Cover all of your windows with plastic. You can purchase kits that include self-adhesive plastic sheets at most home and garden supply stores for approximately $15 to cover an estimated six standard size windows.
  • Fix drafts by using a door sealer that slides across the bottom edge of the doors. You can find these sock-like sleeves at home supply stores for approximately $5 each. Or, you can save money by making your own using a free pattern online along with half a yard of cloth and some cotton stuffing.
  • Control the thermostat. In the winter months, you should leave your thermostat set to 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day when you are at home, and to 65 at night or when you are at work. By decreasing the thermostat for 8 hours at a time, you are reducing your heating costs by 10 percent.
  • Insulate your attic. If you have an attic, it should be insulated to prevent heat loss. Hot air rises, and a non-insulated attic will cause your heating costs to skyrocket.

Portable Electric Heaters
There is nothing like a warm and cozy fire crackling in the fireplace, but they are far less efficient than they are romantic. A portable heater is a much more cost-effective way to stay warm this winter. An electric heater uses much less energy to heat a small space compared to a heat pump or furnace that is heating an entire house. You can save big by turning that thermostat way down and just heating the spaces where you spend most of your time. Choose a heater that has been regulated for safety purposes and tested for leaks. If you have a used heater that is questionable, it is best to purchase a new heater. You can find a good quality, safe electric heater for approximately $40 at most hardware or home and garden supply stores.
With the use of indoor heaters, it is important to take note of carbon monoxide poisoning. One way to make sure you and your family are not poisoned this year is to install carbon monoxide detectors. You can find these in the home and garden department along with the smoke alarms. Some of the latest versions of smoke alarms also have carbon monoxide detecting devices included.

Knowing how to winterize your home is crucial in preventing unnecessary damage from frozen pipes to cracked glass panes. It is also important if you want to save money on your annual energy costs.



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