Don’t think of this as just a “winter” topic either – you can save money on your cooling costs starting now by taking some simple steps to seal (or “tighten”) your home.
- Air leakage amounts to 30-40% of a home’s heating and cooling costs.
- Stopping air leakage is important not only for energy savings, but also for protecting your home from the damaging effects of moisture and resulting mold.
- When air leaks in through walls, it carries humidity. When it hits a cold spot, it condenses and causes insulation and the surrounding wood to get wet, resulting in wood rot and mold growth.
Most people assume the majority of a home’s air leakage occurs through windows and doors – but this really only accounts for 10-15% of air leakage in a home. So before you spend a lot of money on just replacing windows and thinking you’re saving lots of energy, consider taking some of these steps first:
- The greatest areas of air leakage occur around the top of the foundation and around the penetrations to the attic. Seal the foundation (rim joist) with caulk or expanding foam. To seal the attic penetrations, push back the insulation and seal the holes around the wiring and plumbing stacks.
- To seal around the existing windows, use a clear caulk around the window frames where the trim meets the wall. Add weatherstripping if necessary.
- Seal around all ceiling fixtures, heat registers, medicine cabinets, bath tubs, kitchen cabinets, drain and water pipes where they enter the wall in kitchen and bath and any other interior wall penetrations.
Visit your nearest Home Depot or Lowe’s and pick up these simple materials. They can really help you save a lot of money year-round. And keep in mind, a trained professional with proper training and equipment is always best-suited to pinpoint specific points of air leakage and recommend the necessary improvements.
Have you tried any of these solutions to stop air leakage in your home? Share your experiences and costs savings here.
For more information, visit CyberGreenRealty.com for links to locally-trained professionals in the Arlington, Massachusetts area.
Until next time, peace!