Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Five things you need to know: Preparing your home for winter

As winter approaches, a lot of money can be wasted heating the home if it’s not done properly. 

In the Historic Triangle, there are a number of ways residents can stay warm while protecting their wallets throughout winter.

Here are five things you need to know about preparing your home for winter:

  1. Plug holes: Keith Denny, housing manager for James City County, said one of the most common aspects people forget about preparing their home for winter is covering any leaks where air can escape. Denny said some common places people forget are windows because while they look shut, they might not be completely sealed. Similarly with doors, Denny said to find ways to make sure the gaps under the doors are plugged because heat will escape through those small cracks easily.
  2. Change your habits: Denny also suggested people take extra precautions to save on energy bills. One solution is to turn off lights and thermostats during the day. Most people aren’t at home during working hours, so it is a waste to have the thermostat running throughout the day. Instead, Denny said a good investment might be a programmable thermostat which will automatically turn on and off based on an individual’s preferences.
  3. Protect against moisture: Mike Padgett, housing rehabilitation specialist with the county, said moisture in the home can be a real issue during winter. Especially in crawl spaces that lack insulation. In those areas, moisture can get into the walls and cause damage. Padgett suggests using kitchen hood fans and bath fans for moisture in those rooms as much as possible.
  4. Keep an eye on the attic: Denny said the biggest bang for your buck during winter is to make sure there is adequate insulation in the attic because heat rises. Although insulation won’t stop air motion throughout the home, it will prevent it from seeping out through the roof. Denny said insulation is typically expensive and the added comfort from heat control is worth the cost regardless.
  5. Look at local programs: James City County also has a Home Energy Loss Prevention Program that locals can benefit from. The program focuses on giving residents the tools and education to improve safety and energy efficiency in the home. Through the program, homeowners can have energy assessments performed on their home and receive grant funding or low-interest loans to make their homes more energy efficient.
Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doironhttp://wydaily.com
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at alexa@localvoicemedia.com.

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