Monday, March 10, 2014 / by Fra Jamir
If your energy bills are giving you heart palpitations, then it might be time to take a hard look at ways you can increase your home’s efficiency. One thing you can do to make an immediate difference on your next bill is to seal the air leaks throughout your home. Air leakage makes your heating and cooling system work overtime. Below are five common culprits.
1. Crawl Space
If you’re getting cold feet, it might not have anything to do with a wedding. It’s more likely that your crawl space needs to be insulated. Underneath, you might see hanging insulation that needs to be replaced, or if your home was built before 1990, there may be none at all. Talk to a professional. Depending on your climate, there are different strategies for crawl-space insulation.
While most homeowners don’t actually heat or cool their garage, utilizing it as an extra line of defense will help keep costly air from escaping. By insulating your garage door, you’ll trap any air that has seeped from your home. And considering garages usually line one side of a home, it will further help insulate that portion of the house — saving you money.
Hot and cold air can seep through the cracks and gaps in your basement walls and get sucked up into your home. This causes your heating and cooling system to work much harder. You can cheaply fill these air leaks with a trip to your hardware store. Low-expansion polyurethane foam is ideal for spaces up to two inches and caulk works well for anything under ¼ inch.
4. Recessed Lighting
Check for ICAT (Insulation Contact and Air Tight) labels next to the bulb. If there is one, then your light recess is already insulated. However, if there’s not one, then your recess probably is not sealed and costly air is escaping into your attic. You can seal around your recessed lighting with an air baffle. If your home has a lot of recessed lighting, the savings could add up quickly.
5. Windows And Doors
The little gaps between seams in windows and doors can let an amazing amount of air escape from your home. Stop air leaks by weather-stripping all of your windows and doors. Bronze or rubber stripping is rated to last for at least 10 years, and you can get pulley seals to plug holes where cords go into frames. Also, don’t forget the hatch door to your attic.
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Jeff Cook Real Estate