As the weather in the Northeast gets colder forcing many of us to spend even more time indoors, it's a great time to think about small changes that can be made to create a cozy and comfortable retreat for the chilly months ahead.
As a real estate Broker with a LEED certification and an MBA in Sustainability, I work with my buyers to consider ways to make their homes efficient, “cleaner” and as organic as possible. Here are a few simple steps that we can take to make our homes efficient and toasty, a perfect winter habitat!
Conduct an Energy Audit
Start by determining your energy situation… how much you’re spending on energy and where those costs are coming from. Is heat escaping from your home?
Air tends to sneak through the gaps around your homes windows and doors and is typically a major source of heat loss. This can contribute up to 21% of total home heat loss! A quick and easy way to combat this is the installation of tight-fitting, insulated drapes or shades over your windows. According to the Department of Energy, when drawn, curtains can reduce heat loss from a warm room by as much as 10%.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
This is an inexpensive purchase that will allow you to preset temperatures for different times of the day – you don’t need to keep your home at 68 degrees around the clock.
Choose a setting on a lower temperature while you are sleeping or away, and then choose a higher temperature for other times. Some units can store up to four temperature settings each day—e.g., morning, day, evening, night and all have a manual override switch!
Don't Forget to Change Your Filters
A clean air filter will protect your indoor air quality by keeping the dust particles to a minimum. A monthly filter change will also save some energy (up to 5%). Your heating system will also last longer and be less likely to break down.
The most popular 16 x 20-inch duct filters cost around 50 cents each when bought by the box – remember to check the size of your filters before purchasing them!
Make Sure That Your Home is Properly Insulated
Having enough insulation will keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer while providing a cost savings of up to 20%. Eco-friendly insulation products with natural, formaldehyde-free materials are the best choice for a green and healthy home.
Unlike fiberglass, insulation materials like wool and cotton are safe to handle and cause no irritation to the skin or respiratory tract. And choosing insulation with recycled materials reduces your carbon footprint since you’re investing in a product that makes use of content that would otherwise be sent to a landfill.
We welcome Winter in North of NYC. Whether enjoying the great outdoors or watching it from the warmth of your living room, the season offers something for everyone!
About Annalise Stack
Annalise Stack is a LEED accredited Real Estate Salesperson licensed in New York and Connecticut. After experiencing some family health issues, Annalise founded Roan Skye, a unique consulting firm dedicated to helping improve living and working spaces for families, childcare centers and schools.
With an MBA in Sustainability and a background in the hotel industry, Annalise works with buyers who are renovating or building a home to create clean, healthy spaces that have superior indoor air quality. Through careful selection of building materials, insulation, paint, flooring, sealants, etc, Annalise helps clients eliminate harmful toxins and chemicals that can impact health. Sourcing the best products and systems can be overwhelming, Annalise helps her clients take the first steps needed to turn their home into a sanctuary.