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Air Sealing For Maximum Efficiency
June 11, 2012
The constant battle with the elements is a major source of expense when it comes to maintaining a comfortable environment in your home. All winter long, you expend energy in trying to keep the house warm and then, in summer, spend more energy trying to cool things down. As a result, your energy costs go through the roof!
So, if you want to lower your heating and cooling expenses, and make your home more comfortable, start by locating from where in your home air is leaking out through cracks, holes, and improperly sealed joints.
According to Energy Star, properly air sealing your home could save you up to 20 percent of your home heating and cooling costs annually.
The easiest way to find leaks in the structure of your home is to check doors and windows by hand. You will be able to feel the exchange of air or cool spots around the openings.
Finding leaks in other places will be a little more difficult but well worth the effort. Attics and crawlspaces are notorious for having hidden leaks that you may not know about. You may get a little dirty as you slither through a crawl space, but the savings will pay off when you find and seal those openings.
Sealing the leaks:
Now that you’ve located the openings that are allowing air to escape, you’ve got to take measures to plug those holes. There are several ways to do this:
- Install Energy Star certified windows and doors to stop drafts around these areas.
- For cracks and holes in the structure, adding caulking, spray insulating foam, or weather stripping to stop the exchange of air with the outside.
- For larger problem areas, adding insulation to attics and walls can do the trick.
One area of heat loss that is often overlooked is the ductwork used in homes with forced air heating and cooling systems. As much as 20 percent of the air that moves through these systems is lost due to poorly or improperly sealed ducts and vents.
Contact your local RESNET Qualified Energy Smart contractor who will use specialized equipment to determine where the air leaks are and how they can best be sealed to start you on your way to enjoying lower energy bills and greater home comfort this year.
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