The folks at DAP have passed along a few tips for weatherizing your home for the winter. Since it’s National Energy Awareness Month and the temps are dropping across the country, make sure you give these tips a try.
Keep in mind that, according to the experts at EPA ENERGY STAR, improving your home’s envelope can save you up to 20% on heating and cooling costs, or up to 10% of a total annual energy bill. ENERGY STAR also states that air leakage accounts for between 25 and 40 percent of the energy used for heating and cooling in a typical residence.
What is home sealing and weatherization and why should you take action?
Weatherization is a term for improving the energy efficiency of a building’s envelope. Air sealing is an important component of weatherization because it reduces the flow of cold outside air entering the house and heated air escaping in the winter.
Air sealing is a very common energy efficiency measure and is also one of the most cost effective and easiest installations. In most cases, air sealing a home is a minimal investment and only takes a trip to the local hardware store and a couple hours of work. Home sealing not only saves you money, but also benefits the environment as it will require less energy to heat or cool your home.
What are some of the main sources of air leaks in a home?
The obvious ones are around windows and doors. But don’t forget about the attic and basement. Leaks in the attic can create a drafting effect that lets warm air out through the attic, while pulling cold air in through windows, doors and up through the basement.
Where would someone not expect to find air leaks?
Sometimes locating leaks can be difficult. Many people may not think to look for air leaks around baseboards, basement piping, ceiling lighting, exterior faucets, exterior trim, exterior vents, your HVAC vent, light switches and sink piping. Be sure to look under insulation, too.
How do you choose the right caulk or sealant?
Once leaks are found, they are fairly easy to seal with the right products. Any holes ¼ inch or smaller can be sealed with a quality acrylic latex caulk. Latex-based caulk is easy to apply and cleans up with soap and water. On larger holes and gaps a foam sealant is needed.