Energy loss is the main reason for high heating and cooling costs. In winter, cold air outside tries to ply inside and warm air inside tries to escape out through roof, window, holes and cracks. In summer, the flow of energy reverses, radiation and convection of heat from the roof pushing the hot air into the house while the cool air inside running away. The best strategy to reduce energy loss is to air seal your home. Here are seven simple ways to make your house airtight and save on your energy bill.
1. Weatherstrip Doors and Windows
When a house is old, there are probably many gaps and cracks in walls and doors where cold air sneaks in. Seal those gaps will make your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer, and save up to 15% of the energy bill.
Choose a weather strip product for each specific location. The frequently used types of door seal are screw seal (1a) and adhesive seal (1b). To weather strip a door, you need to take the old seal off the door jam and apply new door seal.
There are many different types of window weather strip. Window weatherstrip seal for small gaps is usually self-adhesive such as foam tape (1c) and vinyl strips (1d). The weatherstripping you use should create a tight seal when the door or window is closed but still allow it to open freely.
2. Reglaze Old Windows
After years of exposure to the sun and rain, the glazing of windows deteriorates over time, either with cracks or missing. Cold air can sneak in through the cracked glazing. The simplest way to fix this is to reglaze the window. You need to use a putty knife (2a) to remove the old putty. Heat gun (2b) can help soften the old glazing for easier removal.
Then apply new putty (2c) on the glass panel. It is recommended to reglaze the window when outside temperature is between 40 and 80F degree. When it is too cold or too hot, the putty compound won’t stick well to the glass panel.
3. Caulk Cracks
You may also notice small cracks between window frames and walls. Simply caulk around window and door frames to close those gaps and cracks.
4. Use Spray Foam to Seal Gaps
When the gaps or cracks are too big to use caulk to seal, you may want to use spray foam.
5. Insulate Electrical Outlets and Light Switches
Cold air can come in through electric outlets and light switches. Go over your outlets and check whether there are any serious drafts. If so, gasket covers can be an easy solution to stop the cold air.
6. Insulate Recessed Light
The recessed light can also create a significant draft of air. On the attic floor, you can place recessed light insulation cover to stop air draft from a recessed light fixture and keep flammable insulation at a safe distance from hot recessed lights.
7. Home Energy Audit
Last but not least, conduct a home energy audit to find out where the issues are with your house regarding the energy loss. Usually, the utility company provides subsidies to cover most cost of the audit. In my case, the audit only cost me $100 while the power company covered $300. An audit report will be provided to you a list of insulation work needed to reduce energy costs.
To lower your energy bill requires reduction of possible energy loss. Making your house airtight is the key to conserving energy and cutting energy spending.
Related articles on saving money on utilities:
- Six Great Gadgets that Save you Money on Electricity
- Six Tips for Saving Money on Your Electricity Bill
- How I Saved $500 a Year on Utilities by Making 2 Phone Calls