Sealing Leaks to Improve Home Energy EfficiencyPosted On: Dec 03, 2013
During the winter, energy efficiency is extremely important. One way in which homes lose a lot of energy is through leaks and openings that allow warm air out and cold air in. Sealing and weatherstripping these gaps can dramatically improve your home’s energy efficiency and make your home more comfortable during the cold weather. The good thing is that leaks are easy to detect and can be easily repaired, so conserving energy doesn’t have to be a arduous process. The parts of your home that may be letting in cold air may not be as obvious as the space around windows and doors. Vents, air conditioners, fans, plumbing, gas and electrical lines, cracks, and mail chutes can all represent areas where air easily filters in and out.
There are a couple of different ways to better insulate these openings, depending on the nature of the gap. One method in weather stripping. This is used on movable joints around doors and windows. When installing weather stripping, make sure you choose the appropriate type for friction, weather conditions, temperature, and wear. Measure the perimeters of the doors and windows and add some extra space to account for any waste. When applying the weather stripping, clean and dry the surface area, and evenly apply the stripping to each surface. When properly installed, the weather stripping should completely compress and seal the window or door when shut, but also allow it to open freely.
Another method of sealing gaps around your home is by caulking. This is commonly used to seal cracks in walls and in areas where weather stripping won’t work. With a caulking gun and disposable cartridges you can easily seal a leak with a steady stream of caulk that properly adheres to the aperture. Be sure to clean and dry the area prior to caulking since the caulk will not seal properly if moisture is present. Also, make sure the caulk is fully stuck to both sides of the crack. You can use a putty knife to push the caulk further into the seam and smooth out the job. Between caulking and weather stripping, your home will retain more heat and keep more cold air out during the winter. This improved temperature control should help keep energy bills manageable.