The time of cooler weather is getting near and according to Dave Murray, we’re supposed to have a really cold one this year? So, now is the time to get your home ready for winter.
I know there is a lot of information out there saying do this, do that or whatever. Instead of getting confused about what to do, I will keep it simple. We will start with air sealing. This is by far, one of the most important aspects of home energy savings. Keeping the air that you pay to heat or cool where you need it is our goal! A one-inch hole in an exterior wall can be equivalent to leaving a window open all winter. The wind will literally pull the conditioned air from your home. This is known as stack effect.
As you can see from this image, air will find a way into and out of your home. With air sealing, we are going to try and stop that. But where do we start?
First, you must test your home for air-tightness. This can be done very easily by getting yourself an incense stick or smoke pen. Then, on a windy day, take your incense stick or smoke pen and place it near your exterior doors, windows, electrical outlets or boxes, plumbing fixtures (especially under your sinks), ceiling fixtures, attic openings and any other areas where air may leak to the outside. If the smoke stream travels through any of these areas, then you have just found an air leak. The good thing is that most air leaks can be corrected by using just 3 or 4 items;
caulk, foam sealer, weather stripping and maybe some window seal.
Here you can download the Energy Star Air Sealing Guide to help you further. Once you have identified the easy air leaks, go ahead and fix them now.
Next time, we will discuss the ABC’s of air sealing.