Given the wide-ranging weather conditions (sometimes in the same day!) in La Plata and Archuleta counties, weatherizing is a good idea for your home. We admit it may not be the most exciting project you’ll undertake as a home owner, but when you’re extra comfortable in every season and your energy bills are under control, you’ll find that sealing your home more effectively was well worthwhile.
Work hand in hand with an expert and a list
Here’s a plan you can follow that may make the project feel do-able:
1. Visit this Department of Energy web page to get a sense of where you might find trouble spots.
Print it out for reference. Don’t be alarmed at all the possibilities—it’s highly unlikely you’ll need to address all 19 common places air may be getting in and out of your home.
2. Hire a professional HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) expert or an energy auditor to work with you.
If you don’t know one, the Home Builders Association of Southwest Colorado has members with these qualifications. Let us know if we can make a suggestion.
3. Accompany the auditor on his or her tour of the far corners of your home, inside and out.
Ask every question you can think of, and make a list of all the recommendations. Note which jobs you might be able to tackle yourself and which ones require a professional tradesperson.
For example, caulking and weather stripping are tasks you may be able to handle, even if you don’t have much experience in home improvement. (As the Department of Energy explains, weather stripping seals doors and windows that must be able to open and close, while caulking closes gaps around frames that don’t move.) You might lean on neighbors or staff at friendly hardware stores to give you some tips, and of course YouTube videos are plentiful.
On the other hand, if you decide a window or sliding glass door should be replaced, it’s likely you’ll want to work with contractors suggested by the window manufacturer or a reliable carpenter. Not many home owners decide to take on window installation.
4. Prioritize the jobs on your list.
Think about the budget you want to spend as well as your time available to do the DIY parts of the list. And evaluate which tasks are likely to give you the quickest return on your resources—naturally those might be first in line.
Keep in mind some of the supply chain issues we’re all experiencing in Pagosa Springs and Durango as you weatherize. If you believe you will need components that may end up sitting around somewhere far away, consider ordering them now. And if you know you’ll need professional help with your fireplace, roof, walls, or other spots on the Department of Energy’s list, take a look at our membership directory. There you’ll find masons, roofers, siding contractors, carpenters, drywall installers, and other vetted companies you can get in touch with. Call them to talk about lead times sooner rather than later.
5. Get started!
As you probably know, weatherizing your Southwest Colorado home has many benefits beyond keeping you cozier in winter and more comfortable in summer. It can also ensure a healthier environment inside, especially when our area suffers a difficult fire season or an abundance of pollen in the air. According to the Department of Energy, attending to air leaking in and out can also improve the durability of your home.
If we can answer any questions for you, reach out. You can send us a message or give us a call at 970-382-0082.