ANN ARBOR, Mich., Oct. 15, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Most heating bills will rise this winter because of rising prices for natural gas, electricity and propane, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. But home-service professionals say homeowners can do their part to lower heating bills while staying warm during the colder months ahead.
The experts at ProTect Painters, a professional residential and commercial painting franchise, suggest the following home winterization tips to reduce energy consumption – and heating bills – this winter:
- Seal window and door cracks: Drafty doors and windows will cause energy usage to skyrocket. The first step in sealing out cold air is caulking around the exterior and interior of window and door frames every year or two, making sure to remove the old, cracked caulk first. Next, prep, prime and paint window and door frames. Lastly, install tight-fitting weather stripping in all cracks. To find leaks, place lit candles near suspected doors and windows. If the candle light bounces around, then it's a good chance you have a leak.
- Paint the Exterior: When moisture enters the home through the porous exterior, it makes heating systems work extra hard. To lock moisture out, make sure the house's exterior is painted every few years. And don't worry if you think it's too cold to paint. Today's state-of-the-art paint and primer products can be applied in temperatures as low as 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Rethink the fireplace: Fireplaces can send as much as eight percent of heated air through the chimney, negating any heat burning wood emits. To keep more heated air indoors, use the fireplace only for special occasions. If that's not an option, consider investing in a fireplace insert, which prevents the chimney from sucking heat from your living room.
- Use programmable thermostats: Don't waste energy when you are not home or asleep by running your heating or cooling systems full blast. Programmable thermostats let you adjust the temperature at specific times of day. By lowering the temperature eight degrees Fahrenheit from its normal winter temperature for eight hours a day, you can reduce energy usage by as much as 10 percent.
- Prep the Deck: This task technically will not help you stay warm this winter, but it should be on every fall to-do list nevertheless. That's because fixing up the deck and porch in the fall can help decrease air conditioning usage come spring. When the weather finally warms up, people will naturally want to spend more time outside if they have an inviting outdoor area that provides respite from the heat. Before winter, replace any splintered wood and apply new finish, stain and water repellent to the deck and patio so they can withstand the harsh cold weather and be ready for use by the first warm day.
For more tips to stay warm while minimizing energy usage, contact your local ProTect Painters franchise by visiting www.ProTectPainters.com. To learn about the ProTect Painters franchise opportunity, visit ProTectPaintersFranchise.com.
About ProTect Painters
ProTect Painters is a professional painting contractor franchise specializing in interior and exterior house painting, as well as commercial and residential painting projects. The brand's strong foundation is built on franchisee training and support created by founder Wayne Scherger, who started the company in 1994. In 2009, ProTect Painters was acquired by Service Brands International to join its forces with the Molly Maid and Mr. Handyman brands. Under the SBI umbrella, ProTect Painters is expected to grow to 200 units during the next five years. For more information about ProTect Painters services, please visit www.protectpainters.com. For more information about the ProTect Painters franchise opportunity, please visit www.protectpaintersfranchise.com.
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Source: ProTect Painters