Want to put more money in your pocket? A drafty house may be standing in your way. You can save up to 10% or more on your energy bill by eliminating as many the air leaks in your home as possible. During the summer warm air leaks into your home and during the winter leaks out of your home, wasting a good portion of your energy dollars. One of the fastest and highest payback dollar-saving jobs you can do around the house is to caulk, seal, and weather-strip all seams, cracks, and openings to the outside air.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Check your drafty house for air tightness.
On a windy day, hold a lit incense stick next to locations of potential air paths to the outside, like windows, doors, electrical boxes, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, and ceiling fixtures. If the smoke blows horizontally, you have found an air leak that can use weatherstripping, sealing, or caulking.
2. Caulk and seal gaps
Sealing gaps where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring penetrate through exterior walls, floors and ceilings can save you a bunch on heat loss.
3. Don’t forget the outlets
Electrical outlets and switches are literally holes in your wall. Install rubber gaskets in back of exterior wall outlets and switch plates.
4. Look for visible signs
Dirty, grimy spots on your insulation can indicate holes where air leaks into and out of your house. Look underneath the insulation batting for holes and gaps and seal them by stapling sheets of plastic over the holes, then caulk the edges of the plastic.
5. Check the fireplace
In winter, when the fireplace is not being used, keep the flue damper closed tightly. Chimneys are created to allow smoky air to escape, so unless the flue is closed, warm air escapes, and with it, your heating budget.
6. Storm windows
Installing storm windows over single-pane windows or replacing them with double-pane windows is a major savings not to be overlooked. Windows can make up 10% to 25% of your heating bill. Adding storm windows can cut the heat loss in half.
While all of these tips will help you save money, nothing solves a drafty house like the energy efficiency of new windows. For a free window inspection, along with our suggestions on cost-saving options to help you reduce those drafts, give us a call at 1-800-465-0593. We’ll be glad to stop by and let you know how your windows are doing, what you need to do to get them sealed up before winter, and how we can save you money over the long term with our high-efficiency custom window systems.