First Step Towards an Energy Efficient Home: Weatherization
One key tool in the fight to resolve energy loss is weatherization. Weatherizing your home can be an important and relatively easy way to increase your home’s energy efficiency. Energy loss refers to the amount of energy, specifically heat energy, that is lost through the doors, windows, walls, and roof of your home. A good percentage of energy loss can be avoided with proper weatherization.
There are certain areas of your home that are particularly susceptible to energy loss. Weatherizing these trouble areas can be a big step towards having an energy efficient home.
Doors and Windows
A lot of heat energy can escape through the windows and doors in your home, especially if they are installed improperly or if there are gaps left where drafts can happen.
Caulk around door frames and around window seals to ensure a tight fit and eliminate air leaks. Replace any cracked or broken glass panes and knobs and latches. Install weather stripping around the sides and bottom of doors to prevent drafts while still allowing movement.
About 45% of energy loss occurs through the ceiling and attic. Make sure your attic space is properly insulated, and also consider replacing insulation with new more energy efficient options.
All attic doors and holes should be insulated and weather stripping added to prevent additional heat loss. Pipes and wiring that come out of the attic should also be insulated, but make sure you are doing so safely and seek the advice of a professional if you are unsure.
Basements and crawl spaces are another area where heat energy can escape your home. All windows and doors in basements should be caulked and weather stripping applied, and any cracks or weak areas in the foundation should be filled in.
Piping, plumbing, and electrical lines can all have weak areas around the holes leading up into the house. Check around these areas for areas to add insulations, but again be careful that you are not putting flammable insulation near areas that could become too hot and catch fire. Always seek the help of a professional if you have any questions.
Outside Your Home
The outside of your home needs to be weatherized as well. Make sure the outer door frames and window frames are properly caulked from the outside as well as the inside. Check for any cracks that might cause air leaks and fill those in. Check around air ducks and vents (such as the dryer vent) to insure they fit tightly and their hoods and flappers are intact.
Inside Your Home
Energy loss can occur around the inside of your home, specifically around switches and outlets. Also check for cracks where the floor meets the ceiling, particularly if you have carpet these cracks can be easily hidden. Caulk and install the appropriate gaskets to prevent air leaks and optimize energy efficiency.
Weatherizing your home is the first big step towards an energy efficient home. You can weatherize your home fairly easy and it is not an expensive project especially considering how much money you can save on energy bills.