Big Picture: Winterizing Your Home


If you want to insulate your pocketbook against an overdraft, don't forget to insulate your drafty home.

New homes give owners extra protection against the cold. But even in an old home, there are things you can do to insulate yourself from high heating bills.

In the homes he builds, Danny Starostka follows a new building code called the REScheck. Both Hastings and Kearney have adopted new energy efficiency standards.

Starostka said, "We make sure to put house wrap around it and tape around the windows."

Danny now insulates interior basement walls. Along with efficient heating and cooling, and better windows, buying a new home can actually save money on heating bills.

"People buying these homes moved in from old homes and now they're getting energy savings, a couple hundred dollars a month in the winter time," he said.

But if a new home's out of the question, you can still save money in an old house. Even a ten dollar furnace filter can be a good investment this time of year.

"Especially in this season because there's so much dirt in the air right now," said Bob Derr, a manager at Builders Warehouse.

It's windy and dry, but that makes it a great time to seal up holes in a home's foundation, doors, and windows.

"Now's a really good time to do it because it's not so cold at night, warm enough in the day.
A good Saturday project, take a few hours go around the house, now's a good time to do it," Derr said.

Your local home improvement store has everything from kits to seal drafty windows, to every kind of caulk and foam you'd need to keep the warm air in and cold air out.

Derr said, "You definitely don't want cool air coming in, so just got to seal all the holes around the house."

Whether your home is old or new, you can invest in things like air conditioner covers, and programmable thermostats that allow you to get a better control of your home heating bills.

Reporter's Notes by Steve White:
The Alliance to Save Energy suggets upgrading inefficient windows, glass doors, and skylights with energy-efficient Energy Star windows. The ASE says that can cut your heating bill up to 34 percent.

Experts suggest replacing furnace filters once a month to help units run more efficiently.