As your home's doors and windows age, it can be helpful to complete an energy audit inside your home to find and remedy any new energy leaks. When you seal up your doors, windows and other areas in your home against energy leaks, you can save up to ten percent on your home's energy bill. And in the winter when you want to keep the warmth inside your home, this will help make your home more comfortable for you and your family. Here are some tips to help you check for and repair any energy leaks inside your home.
To complete the energy audit, it is best if you do it on a day that is cold and windy outside, but you can do it on another day as well. Turn off your home's furnace, any ceiling fans and appliances you would use to heat or cool your home. Close all doors, windows, and any fireplace flue to seal in the air of your home. Next, turn on all bathroom fans, your clothes dryer, and your stove top fan to create a positive air pressure inside your home. This will force your home's interior air to escape through any available cracks or gaps in its sealing.
Light an incense stick and walk slowly through each room of your house, moving the incense stick near doors, windows, vents, and electrical outlets. Watch to see which direction the incense smoke flows. If there are any energy leaks in a room, the incense smoke will travel toward and through it.
Seal Leaking Windows
Energy leaking through your home's windows are usually caused by gaps around the window's caulking or within the window frames, and usually occurs in older windows. New windows framed with vinyl or other high-efficiency materials are likely double or triple glazed and help prevent energy leaks. Older aluminum or wooden windows can allow leaks through their failing seals and caulking that have aged. You can replace your old leaking windows with new energy efficient windows, or make repairs to plug up any leaks.
Repair old windows by, first, removing any old caulking with a putty knife, peeling it from the window. Apply a new layer of caulk onto the window's seam, using a wet cloth to smooth the caulk in place. Make sure you use an exterior window caulking to repair the window and to create a good seal.
If your window is not sealing properly and allowing energy escape when you close it, you can add a layer of foam weather stripping to the edge of the window, which will help insulate around the window. You can find foam weather stripping sold by the roll at most home improvement stores.
Seal Electrical Outlets
If you have discovered an energy leak through an electrical outlet, you will need to seal up the area around the electrical box mounted behind your wall. First, use a screwdriver to remove the outlet cover and access the plastic electrical box behind it. You will most likely find there is a gap between the electrical box and the drywall, that is allowing cold air to flow into your home through the outlet cover.
Buy a can of spray foam insulation, insert the nozzle and spray it into the space around the electrical box through the gap in the drywall. Spray the foam insulation until it fills the void and seals up the space around the electrical box, sealing up the gap in the drywall. Replace the outlet cover and continue this process with any leaky outlets in your home.
Seal Exterior Doors
Any exterior doors on your home that are leaking can easily be plugged with foam weather stripping. Apply the adhesive edge of the stripping onto the door jamb around your exterior door. This material will plug any cracks around your door due to a misaligned door to help keep your home's energy inside your home.
Use these tips to help make your home more energy efficient. For more information, contact a business such as Statewide Energy Solutions.