Home Winterization Tips from Eastern Shore Home Improvement

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With the cold months bearing down on Maine residents this season, Portland building contractors offer advice on how to stay warm for less.

Eastern Shore Home Improvement has been offering remodeling and construction services in Maine for more than a quarter of a century now. Working with new construction, home remodeling, renovations, and home repairs, the building contractors at Easter Shore have seen their fair share of weatherization and energy efficiency nightmares. Homeowners are often unaware of just how much of their heating and cooling costs are wasted through poor insulation and old, ineffective windows. Independent studies have shown that anywhere between 60 and 80% of the cost to heat a non-energy efficient home are wasted on heat that transfers through the attic, windows, doors, basement and walls. While consumers are able to purchase a variety of products made to help make homes more energy efficient, there are many who have yet to adopt the newer technologies. Rated as an energy efficient builder, Easter Shore Home Improvement shares some insight on ways to keep your gas and energy bills under control this season.

One of the easiest and least expensive energy efficient devices you can install in your home today is a programmable thermostat. This replaces existing thermostat units and can be set to keep the house at different temperatures throughout the day. For example, homeowners might keep cooler temperatures during a winter day while everyone is at work or school and then warmer temperatures in the evening, yet lower them to somewhere between those two during the night when most are sleeping and under covers. These can usually be purchased for less than $50 and can be installed with nothing more than a screwdriver. If building a brand new home, homeowners might want to consider installing programmable thermostats as well as a home built on climate zones. Climate zones allow you to control the temperature in different rooms of the house, having an empty guest bedroom colder than the living room, is one popular example.

Maine building contractors also recommend investigating the type and condition of existing windows in your home. Old, single pane windows do little to limit heat transfer between inside and outside. Modern double and triple paned windows are made of higher quality glass, with inert gases to slow down the energy transfer. They also tend to have better made frames that can adjust with the expanding and shrinking of the house’s frame during the warm and cold seasons. While new windows are not always cheap, they often pay for themselves quite quickly, keeping the house warmer during the winter and cooler during the summer. They also carry the added benefit of lower noise levels from the outside and limiting air ventilation to keep things such as pollen out of the home, which can be pretty important for someone who suffers from allergies or asthma.

Overall, when trying to winterize your home, builders in Maine will advise that you want to limit the air ventilation and energy transfer between the outside and inside as much as possible. This can include putting up thick plastic sheeting over windows and unused doorways. For anyone with pipes outside the home and above ground, the pipes should also be insulated with foam insulation that can be purchased at most hardware stores. Keep the foam insulation in place with zip ties, which can be cut and removed during warmer parts of the year. Keep your eye on the thermostat and make use of dressing in layers or blankets to allow you to keep the thermostat set just a few degrees lower. Just three degrees difference on the thermostat has been shown to save an average of 20% in homes. Being aware of where drafts are and how to hamper them is going to be another major benefit.

About Eastern Shore Home Improvement: Eastern Shore Home Improvement has been in business for more than 25 years. They are experienced building contractors in Portland, ME also serving the eastern shoreline in such communities as Scarborough, Cape Porpoise, Cumberland, and Yarmouth. They work with new construction projects, remodeling and renovations, and home repairs.

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Chris Moreno

Cameron Corniuk
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