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How to Keep Alaska Homes Warm: Make Energy Efficient Home Improvements

Homes in Alaska may take more to heat especially during the winter. With the price of oil increasing it can create an expensive heating bill. It’s not rare to have 400.00 heating bills during the winter. Many Alaskans are opting not to use oil heat. Instead, they are installing alternative heating sources to keep warm. Some are using electric space heaters, fireplaces or wood stoves to save heating expenses. Consider making energy efficient home improvements to help keep your home warm. Energy efficient homes will cut heating costs considerably.

It might be time to make some changes if you are noticing high heating bills, cold rooms or damp areas. Plan to make additional home improvements to make your Alaskan home more energy efficient if needed. Don’t feel you have to make all the home improvements at once. Even the first steps in making your home energy efficient will bring heating expenses down.

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Energy efficient door materials are fiberglass, wood cladding, and steel with polyurethane foam cores. Door frames with a tight fit and updated weather stripping will reduce air leaks. Newer door frames can be purchased with magnetic strips to create an extra tight seal.

Insulated vinyl window frames have hollow cavities in the frame filled with insulation making them thermally superior to standard vinyl and wood frames. Multiple glass panes insulate better than a single pane of glass.

Sealing air leaks in the home will keep heat in during cold weather. Air leaks can be easy to find where areas feel cold and drafty. Check for air leaks around windows and doors. Hidden problem areas are usually found in the attic, basement and crawlspace. Look for holes in these areas and repair. Seal leaks with caulk, spray foam or weather stripping.

Sealing air ducts can improve energy efficiency dramatically. According to Energy Star, it can be at least a 20 percent increase. Begin with sealing air ducts in the attic, basement, crawl space and garage. After sealing these areas wrap air ducts with insulation. Then seal air ducts in the rest of the home.

Add insulation to lower heating costs. Insulation helps keeps homes warm. Common types of insulation are fiberglass, cellulose, rigid foam board and spray foam. Insulation works best when air isn’t circulating through it. This is why it’s important to seal air leaks first. Adding insulation to the attic is usually the easiest area to add insulation. In addition, it’s usually the area that will save you the most money after adding insulation.

Adding insulation to the water heater can reduce heat loss by 25-45 percent according to The U.S. Department of Energy. Only water heaters without a high R-valve of at least R-24 will need extra insulation. If you are not sure of the current R-value of the water heater, touch the tank. If the tank feels warm then more insulation is needed.

Insulating hot water pipes reduces heat loss. Be sure to insulate hot water pipes for at least three feet within the water heater. In addition, insulate cold water pipes for the first three feet.

By making your Alaskan home more energy efficient you’ll save money, keep warm and help the environment. These improvements are considered “green remodeling,” which helps our environment by using less energy.

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