Busy winter for home heating and energy companies in WNY

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - After a few mild winters in WNY, this winter's snow and cold temperatures have many people more concerned about staying warm inside their own homes. That's what one home energy performance company says it has been seeing.

"My phone has been ringing off the hook," Martin Bakowski, founder of Home Performance Professionals in Tonawanda, explained. Many people are calling about general discomfort with the temperature in their home or even ice dams forming on their roof.

The biggest thing to help keep homes warm without paying too much in the monthly heating bill is proper insulation.

"It's so important to insulate these exterior walls," Bakowski said. "It keeps all the heat in."

Many older homes run into the same problems when it comes to heating. After making sure the home is properly insulated, including the floor of the attic, Bakowski's next step is usually air sealing.

That involves checking for open airways that might allow heat to pass through different levels in the home. In a house he's currently remodeling, Bakowski showed an open space running along the chimney that he is going to seal off.

"You want to seal it at the bottom," he said. "You want to seal it in the middle. Then we're going to want to seal it at the top in the attic so that we lock all the heat in the building."

But there are a number of inexpensive things homeowners can do to improve the performance of a heating system and the efficiency of their home.

"You can weather strip your doors," Bakowski said. "You can weather strip your windows. You can turn your thermostat down. These are all general things people have been doing for a long time just to save a little bit of energy."

He also recommends getting older furnaces a tune up every other year, regularly replacing old or dirty furnace filters and turning down the temperature of the hot water heater to 115 degrees.

For more information about Home Performance Professionals you can visit the website here or call (716) 833-9295.

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