Keep the four seasons outside where they belong with the help of weatherproofing
How often have you felt a twinge of concern about how the new weather patterns would affect your bank account? Controlling these changing temperatures can translate into sticker shock when it comes to your utility bills, but weatherization can help ensure that your heating and cooling budget isn’t flying out the window each month.
You can hire a local handyperson who provides weatherization services to help identify the places where your home is less energy efficient. They can do this by fixing or replacing drafty windows, repairing poorly insulated attics, and replacing old or missing weatherstripping from your doors. You can expect to pay an average of $60 to $125 per hour, plus the cost of materials.
What Is Home Weatherization?
While not a new concept, home weatherizing is popular among people looking to lower their energy consumption and reduce their carbon footprint. Also known as weatherproofing, weatherization is the process of getting your home ready for the changing seasons. This can mean adding or removing storm windows to replace drafty ones, sealing cracks that allow interior air to leak out and exterior air to move in, and even installing modern HVAC systems that work more efficiently to keep your home comfortable all year-round.
Why Hire a Handyperson?
There are plenty of weatherization steps that most handy homeowners can do themselves, like adding a door sweep to prevent drafts from coming in or adding weather stripping around ill-closing doors and windows. Both processes can run you from $130 to $760 to do yourself. But according to HomeAdvisor, hiring a handyperson who specializes in weatherproofing can help you further identify where your home needs more targeted help—and likely even save you money in the long run by preventing heat loss in the winter, which can increase energy bills.
A handyperson will have tools that can help find out where the issues are. For example, some use thermal imaging cameras to identify where your home is losing ambient air, and then develop a plan to determine why it’s happening and repair it.
You don't have to wait for a handyperson to get started on weatherization. Jot down a list of problem areas you already know about (maybe like that drafty bathroom window) before they arrive. As the person who already knows where the chilliest part of your home is in the winter and which room is hardest to get a comfortable night's sleep in come summer, you already have a head start when it comes to weatherization.
How to Find a Handyperson
By definition, a handyperson is someone who handles a variety of home projects. They’re often less specialized than other contractors who work on one particular type of job and instead offer various services. If you want to hire a pro to help weatherize your home, find one specializing in this type of work and has the tools needed (like those infrared cameras) to get the job done. As with most contract jobs, ask your neighbors and friends if they recommend anyone and get a few quotes before settling on a contractor. You can also do an internet search for local handypeople near you.
Weatherization You Can Do on Your Own
If you don’t want to shell out money for a handyperson, try some DIY weatherization steps. For example, use caulk or weatherstripping material to seal up common problem areas like doorways and windows and cracks in your foundation, the attic, or the basement. You can typically fix these issues without the aid of a ladder or special tools.
Just remember: Attempting to seal openings in your HVAC system or any projects that involve climbing a ladder may be better left to the pros. Some HVAC systems have venting designed to help release pressure, and closing it off could prove to be dangerous for you and your home.