The amount of air leaks in an average American home are equal to a four-foot hole in an exterior wall. Weatherization is an inexpensive way to stop many common air leaks. By sealing up trouble spots, you can lower your annual home heating and cooling utility bills by 25 to 40 percent.
Having a professional energy audit performed is the best way to learn how to improve overall energy efficiency, but the following weatherization suggestions for different areas of the home can help you get started on the basics.
Check for and re-putty any loose window panes, and replace any broken glass.
Make sure all windows have sash locks and close properly to create a tight seal.
Apply caulk around all windows and doors frames to seal gaps between the frame and the wall.
Install weatherstripping on exterior doors. Be sure to open each door and add weatherstripping around the inside of the door jamb.
If daylight is visible under an exterior door, raise the threshold if there are adjustment screws, or replace it with an adjustable, flexible vinyl gasket.
Install new vinyl or rubber door sweeps on exterior doors to further prevent under-door air leaks.
Open any double-hung windows and install foam weatherstripping on the tracks and the bottom of the top sash.
Air seal any other windows that open with weatherstripping or flexible rope caulk. Be sure to seal all moving parts.
Install exterior storm windows to block drafts around single pane windows.
As a storm-window alternative, apply inexpensive window film on the interior side to reduce drafts around single-pane windows.
Stop air leaks around the attic access to keep conditioned air from escaping. Cut batt insulation to fit and attach it to the upper side of the hatch, and install foam weatherstripping around the outer edge of the door. If necessary, add a latch-type bolt to keep the door tightly closed.
If a chimney passes through the attic, seal any gaps around it with a combination of high-temperature sealant and metal flashing.
Caulk around plumbing vents where they pass through that attic floor and ceiling.
Install rigid insulation and caulk to seal the tops of exterior wall cavities in a pre-1950s home.
Use expandable foam, fiberglass insulation and/or caulk to seal any gaps and holes between the attic and the conditioned living spaces below.
Seal the joints of accessible HVAC ducting with metal-backed tape and then wrap the ducts with R-6 insulation.
Use caulk and/or expandable foam to seal holes and gaps where air can rise from the basement/crawl space into the living area. Be sure to check all electrical, plumbing and chimney penetrations.
Seal and insulate any accessible ductwork.
Caulk around the frames of any basement windows.
Seal up any holes in the foundation walls, along with any gaps between the foundation and sill plate and rim joist. Use caulk to seal narrow gaps and foam sealant to fill in larger areas.
Install insulating foam gaskets behind all electrical plate covers on exterior walls.
Use caulk to seal any cracks and gaps where floors meet exterior walls.
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, close the damper when it's not in use. If the fireplace isn't used, install rigid insulation or a chimney balloon in the flue to save energy.
Use caulk and expandable foam to seal gaps around penetrations through the home's exterior shell. Seal around any gas, plumbing, electrical and water lines, as well as any HVAC and other vents.
Caulk around all door and window frames to prevent air infiltration and keep out moisture.
Make sure the dryer vent cover is intact and that it closes properly. Replace it if necessary.
Seal any holes and gaps where different types of building materials meet, such as where siding meets a brick chimney.
Use caulk and foam sealant to stop fill any gaps between the home's foundation and the wooden rim joist.
Learn more about weatherization and it's affect on your home's HVAC system from the experts at Cool Care, or contact us today at (803) 772-7715.