Buttoning up for home energy savings - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Buttoning up for home energy savings

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Adam Bluestein and Ila Abramson have made a lot of improvements to their home over the years.

One of the areas they significantly improved was their basement. Jake Marin with Efficiency Vermont thinks so too. "The concrete that's sticking out of the ground before your wall is on top of it -- It has the same insulative value as a single sheet of glass," Marin said.
"It's important that it's insulated and it's also important that it's air sealed."

The air seal is analagous to wearing a wind breaker, which prevents the breeze from entering. This can be anything from drywall to plaster -- or even foam sheets. Marin says you don't want to forget about the joist area up above. Come winter, efforts like these can make your house more comfortable. "The basement feels a lot warmer," Bluestein said.

Basements typically house our water heaters, furnaces and boilers. Marin says should be regularly inspected and any air filters should be changed. This is also a good time to clean up a bit. "Keeping anything combustible away from this is very, very important," Marin said.

Up in the main living space, many own a fireplace. "A fireplace actually has a net loss of heat," Marin said. But if you don't want to give up the flickering flames, don't worry, Marin says a fireplace insert is a good option.

And don't forget to address any leaky windows. "I would recommend is what we call interior storm windows," Marin said. "It's just a wooden frame with that similar type of plastic wrapped around it."

And if that exterior door is producing a draft, weatherstripping may do the trick. "That you just screw into the inside of your doorstop and when the door closes it compresses," Marin said.

With a more airtight home,  Bluestein and Abramson are ready for winter. "Waiting for the snow and as long as that comes everyone is pretty happy," Bluestein said.

And they'll have a warm place to call home, without a hefty heating bill.

Click here for more information from Efficiency Vermont.

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