It's Not To Early To Get Ready For Old Man Winter…


Winter's coming and so are the heating bills, buggar! No need to worry though, Howie’s Handyman has tips and tricks to help you save on the dreaded electrical bill. We have easy tips that you can do yourself (we can always take care of them if you are too busy), to some more laborious items perfect for us to install that will pay for themselves in one winter. We will focus on the fundamental problems that result in heat loss; drafts and insulation.

Locating and correcting air leaks can range anywhere from 5% to 30% per year in energy savings. Checking for indoor air leaks in areas such as gaps along Skirting boards or the edge of flooring. Checking some of these common places that are also notorious for nasty heat-zapping drafts:    

✔  Electrical outlets

✔  Light switch & Electrical covers

✔  Window frames

✔  Skirting boards

   Weather stripping around doors

✔   Fireplace dampers or chimney (close them when in not in use)

   Attic hatches and manholes

   Wall or window mounted air conditioning units 


One very nifty trick that makes finding drafts easier is called a basic building pressurization test (way easier than it sounds!):


First, close all exterior doors, windows and fireplace flues.

Turn off all combustion appliances such as gas burning heaters and water heaters.

Then turn on all exhaust fans (generally in the kitchen and bathrooms) or use a large window fan to suck the air out of the rooms.

 This will make drafts much more noticeable. Things like wetting your hand will make you even more sensitive to these leaks


Now, let’s move on to the outside of your home. Some of these items can be more difficult to do, but are still no problem for the weekend hardware store warrior. Once again; we can always take care of them if you are too busy!


Check all of the following:

   All exterior corners

   Where cladding/roofing and chimney meets

   Areas where the foundation and the bottom of exterior brick or cladding meets 

   You should plug and caulk holes or penetrations for faucets, pipes, electrical outlets, and wiring.

   Look for cracks and holes in the mortar, foundation, and cladding, and seal them with the appropriate material.

Note: never block necessary and required ventilation. Do not mess with air supply ducts for gas equipment and things of that ilk. If you are worried about these areas call a ventilation contractor.


Insulate for savings as well; Heat loss through lack of or inadequate insulation can lead to significant heat loss and skyrocketing energy bills. This “inadequate” insulation could have been sufficient when your home was built, but depending on when that was, it could be insufficient now.

That hatch up into your attic or your manhole could be a major culprit as well. Check to ensure that it as least as heavily insulated as your attic or roof space and is weather stripped, and closes tightly.


If you feel uncomfortable doing any of these do-it-yourself items, you can always call Howie’s Handyman Services. In fact, mention that you noticed this on our blog or stumbled over here from Facebook and get 10% off any work up to a total discount of $100.

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