Here at Miller & Smith, we know winter. We especially know how to best prepare and protect your family from the inevitable big chill. We certainly know the importance of keeping families warm during the coldest months of the season. What’s more is we know how to do so, while saving you money.
According to Energy Star, as much as half of your home’s energy output is due to its heating and cooling. The good news is, as a Miller & Smith homeowner, energy efficiency and your family’s comfort starts from the inside out of our home designs. By taking a quick peak behind the walls of a Miller & Smith home and by following these four simple rules of home heat winterization, you will keep your home warmer this winter, while lowering your heating bill in the process.
What’s Already Done For You:
- EXTERIOR DOORS. Miller & Smith’s exterior doors are fiberglass with a solid foam core that provides substantially more insulation value than a wood door. So, in addition to making a beautiful first impression, you’ll enjoy the opportunity to lower monthly heating and cooling bills.
- LOW-E GLASS WINDOWS. Our home designs feature large windows with Low-E Glass. This filters unwanted UV rays and reduces heat transfer that may burden your HVAC. In a Miller & Smith home, great light, beauty and potential savings are standard features, too.
- WEATHERIZATION BARRIER SYSTEMS. Miller & Smith’s wall, floor and roof sheathing uses oriented strand board (OSB), which has greater shear strength than plywood and no gaps or soft spots. Depending on your home’s location, we use one of two outstanding weatherization systems, Zip Wall or Tyvek, to prevent moisture and air infiltration. These systems eliminate leaks and drafts as well as help your insulation do its job better and keep you more comfortable.
- HVAC SYSTEM. If you’re currently living in an older home with ductwork in your attic, you’ll really appreciate the energy efficiency of our HVAC systems. In addition to being right-sized for your home by a mechanical engineer, all supply lines are sealed and run through the interior of your home. Heated or cooled air reaches living spaces more efficiently, thereby maintaining comfort while reducing your energy bills.
- THE ROOF. A well-insulated attic is one of the best ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency. We use R-38 attic insulation, delivering a 25% increase over homes built just 5 years ago.
- THE BASEMENT. Our comprehensive Energy Seal Package includes insulating all lower level conditioned space to seal out excess moisture and keep the temperature warmer in the winter.
- ENERGY SAVINGS. We engineer your home to eliminate unnecessary energy use, and include ENERGY STAR® programmable thermostats so you can set and control your energy use per your needs.
Here’s Your Homework:
- SCHEDULE A PROFESSIONAL HEATING SYSTEM TUNE-UP. A yearly tune up of your home’s heating system will surely improve energy efficiency while maintain your utmost comfort. This kind of regular tune-up is the best kind of prevention and will hopefully help you avoid any major and unexpected problems that could leave you without heat later on in the season. The service often will include an overall check of the system’s performance, as well as tightening connections, checking condensate lines, lubricate moving parts, clean dirty coils, fans and heat exchangers, which can improve the efficiency of heating and cooling systems
- CHANGE YOUR AIR FILTER. A good rule of thumb is to replace air filters once monthly, but especially if it looks or sounds dirty. This simple step can prevent a dirty filter from slowing air flow, decreasing system efficiency and even damaging the entire system.
- REVERSE YOUR CEILING FANS. Believe it or not, the same fan that keeps you cool in the summer can help keep a room warm in the winter. Fans today are made with a little switch that changes blade rotation. Counterclockwise produces that pleasant summer breeze we crave. Energy Star says fans will produce an updraft and push heated air down from the ceiling into the room. Especially helpful in rooms with high ceilings, ceiling fans can cut heating costs by as much as 10 percent.
- REPLACE CAULK AROUND WINDOWS AND DOORS, AS NEEDED. If gaps between siding and window or door frames become bigger than the width of a nickel over time, it’s time to reapply caulk, inside and out. Add weather stripping around doors as necessary, making sure you cannot see any daylight from inside your home.