Winter weather, while beautiful to behold, often exposes vulnerabilities in the home. This can raise heating costs significantly, create hazardous conditions and result in costly damage. With the season approaching quickly, now is the perfect time to offer your professional knowledge to homeowners on simple updates your team can do to help them identify trouble spots and ensure a comfortable home for the holidays.
Turn the following four strategies into your winter weatherization checklist to help clients stay warm and cozy all season long.
Insulate the Smart Way
It’s no surprise that attics are havens for cold air that can quickly spread through the household. However, while attics can be draft conductors, they are also one of the easiest areas to reinforce. Use The Home Depot’s attic insulation calculator to determine your area’s recommended R-value and estimate how much insulation will be required for the job. The simple addition of extra insulation can do many things, from localizing incoming air blasts to improving heat retention throughout the home.
If properly applied, insulation can reduce overall energy costs by up to 20 percent.
Merchants from The Home Depot worked with Owens Corning to develop Pure Safety High Performance Insulation, which helps maintain healthy air quality. Available only at The Home Depot, this insulation is asthma and allergy certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. For added benefit, the Owens Corning offering is also fire-resistant and deters noise, helping your customers sleep better knowing their family will be safe and healthy.
Close the Gaps, Stop the Drafts
When it comes to maintaining a cozy interior, spine-chilling drafts are a homeowner’s winter nemesis. The average home has enough air leakage to fill a two-foot square hole, according to the Department of Energy. That’s the equivalent of leaving a window open all day! Suggest projects to help manage cold air and reduce costs for your client.
There are several cost-effective ways to minimize drafts. Start by inspecting siding, windows and doors for gaps and cracks that welcome cold air, especially in older houses you may be remodeling. If areas need repair, foam sealants, weather strips, and caulk offer low-hassle, low-cost fixes.
Remember also to spend time checking the pipes, a priority during winter as leaking and freezing increase the risk of bursts and potential damage. A burst pipe costs an average of $5,000 to repair, according to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. On the other hand, pipe insulation costs less than a dollar per foot and is a smarter recommendation. Your team should start by evaluating pipes for cracks or disconnects.
Don't Overlook Lighting
Daylight savings affects more than just the time of day. Shorter days and longer nights mean more electricity usage. Recommending a change to energy efficient light bulbs is a simple and often overlooked way for customers to keep costs down.
LED bulbs use a whopping 85 percent less energy than regular incandescent bulbs, which can lead to significant savings. However, many customers have been reluctant to switch due to perceived weaker light quality when compared to incandescent alternatives. Fortunately, modern LED bulbs can provide rich, natural light with long-lasting bulbs that won’t heat up the room.
The Cree 75-Watt replacement LED R20, for example, is one of the brightest R20 LED bulbs available. Exclusive to The Home Depot, this bulb is a great option for areas of the home where customers want the most light, such as rooms with high ceilings. It also lasts more than 20 years, so customers won’t have to worry about climbing a ladder any time soon.
Warm Up to Smart Home
Smart thermostats not only reduce the toll on home heating and air systems, they also give the space a contemporary feel. Recommending a smart thermostat is an easy project for added value during a remodel. These more capable alternatives, such as the ecobee4, activate and shut off based on occupancy and movement trends, deploying heat only as necessary. This model allows you to connect up to 32 room sensors to ensure even temperature across the home and features Amazon Alexa Voice service for simplified control.
Clients can also synchronize their smartphones to monitor and adjust their home temperature settings from any location. This added control will help your clients reduce heating bills and alert them to potential issues faster.
For remodelers, the time for proactive weatherization is before winter truly arrives. With the change in season comes a series of challenges that are much more difficult and expensive for homeowners to address once in real time. Your clients will thank you now and return in the spring for other upgrades if you can help them take precautions against the discomforts, dangers and higher costs that occur when the temperature begins to fall.