Hire a handyman for home weatherization
If you live in an area of the country prone to winter weather, you are probably already familiar with the rising utility costs associated with cold temperatures. Both gas and electricity costs can spike during the winter months due to the increased use of home heating devices and the unintended loss of heat caused by a lack of insulation and proper weatherization.
There are several affordable and practical steps a homeowner can take to combat rising utility costs, one of which involves hiring a handyman.
Bob Mignogna, a Boston-area handyman and owner of highly rated Handymen from Heaven in Needham, Mass., says he frequently gets calls for home weatherization. He says homeowners can save time and money from utilizing a handyman service for home weatherization.
“We work closely with our local utility companies,” Mignogna says. “Many provide free home energy inspections and a suggestion list. We in turn work from their list and complete all the mentioned suggestions. [You get] one company, one vendor, one responsible party to stand by our work. If any other services are needed to complete the normal weatherizing, we are capable of doing the total job.”
A handyman can perform the following tasks to weatherize your home:
A handyman can assess your home to determine how and where energy is lost. An audit will involve the inspection of your home’s HVAC systems, windows, doors, light switches and duct work.
Mignogna says he always begins a weatherization project by assessing the age of the home and determining whether it has been updated in the past. He inspects the level of existing insulation and looks at the integrity of windows and doors.
“We use a heat loss sensor and run it around the inside window sills, door jams and other areas exposed to the outside,” he says. “We can verify the testing by going outside to measure the heat loss from the same areas.”
Have you ever noticed cold air coming in around your windows or doors? If so, it’s because your home is not sealed properly. The slightest gap can provide an easy opportunity for heat to escape and cold air to come in.
Weatherstripping is the insertion of a rubber strip or pad into the gap where air is entering or exiting a home. It is usually installed along the threshold where the door meets the floor or along the door and its frame. The material is inexpensive and can be found in hardware stores.
“The objective is to make the house as tight as possible and eliminate the usual suspects of heat loss,” Mignogna says. “The added benefit is a tight home for the hot summer months when cooling a house is primary. If you want the outside weather inside, live in a tent, and that is called camping.”
Seal light switches and outlets
Light switches and electrical outlets are another major source of heat loss during the winter, especially those on exterior walls. A handyman can install a foam gasket behind the outlet to ensure a tight seal.
Insulate the water heater
Your home’s water heater could be working double time during the winter. Energy Star reports that heat loss can be reduced by up to 45 percent by wrapping a water heater with a pre-fit jacket or blanket. The wrapping helps to insulate the heater’s tank, and Energy Star reports it could result in savings on utility bills.
Your attic could be one of the biggest contributors to heat loss. According the stack effect, warm air rises when it’s surrounded by cool air. As the air inside your home warms, it rises. If you don’t have sufficient insulation in your attic to trap it inside, it will escape.
“The attic is a big heat transfer to the outside and many houses do not have the required 8 to 12 inches of insulation,” Mignogna says.
He says it also important to inspect attic fans. “If the fan is not covered in the winter, the home heat escapes and heating bills go up.”
Angie’s List can help you find a reputable handyman in your area to aid with home weatherization. Whether you are looking for a Los Angeles handyman or a Chicago handyman, Angie’s List has trusted consumer ratings and reviews on handymen nationwide. Join today to ensure your next hiring experience is a pleasant one.