Every home has at least a few cracks to let air in and out. But if you want to be energy efficient, you’ll need to seal up the cracks before winter arrives. Cracks not only allow cold drafts in, but they can also cause heating bills to soar. It would help to focus on sealing your doors and windows before turning your attention inside the house. Here are several tips:
- To compensate for opening and closing throughout the day, start with weather stripping doorways. This helps seal the area between the frame of your doorway and its hinges or other hardware that allows opening. A strip of rubber or plastic will help prevent drafts from coming through without compromising the strength of what’s keeping your house together. Then move on, weather stripping the bottom of your door. Once again, this helps ensure that cold air stays out while maintaining general durability.
- Next, make sure any gaps in your window-mounted air conditioners are sealed up. These units can help keep your house warm in winter and cool in summer, but they often let heat escape through their exterior grates. Fill the gap with an insulating strip of foam or cardboard before you close it back up to seal out drafts; otherwise, you’ll be losing energy when you don’t want to and maybe causing problems for the AC unit at the same time.
- The other thing is concerning the furnaces. The venting system on top of furnaces is meant to release heated air generated by the furnace burner itself, not cool air outside. If you have a service professional like Attic Man coming to inspect your furnace, show them where the vents are and ask if they can seal any gaps around or above them before turning them on.
- In addition to sealing the cracks around exterior doors and windows, make sure you’re aware of any air leaks inside as well. Windows don’t cover all of a room’s external surfaces, so keep an eye out for holes where cables or pipes run through walls or ceilings. Unplug appliances that use electricity when they aren’t being used just in case there’s a problem with insulation around their power cords. In other words, even though cell phone chargers need to be plugged in at all times as long as they’re working, you never know. Also, watch out for areas with no insulation around their ceilings, floors, or walls to prevent cold air from entering.
The best way to reduce your energy usage and save money is to find and seal the biggest holes and then use that as a base for other areas. You can then work outwards from there.