A significant portion of your monthly energy bills may be wasted due to air leaks in the home. These invisible gaps, cracks, and holes let warmed or cooled air escape and unconditioned air infiltrate, leading to higher energy costs than needed. Fortunately, it’s easy for DIY-minded homeowners to take control of their fate by using simple tools to reduce these expensive drafts that drive up the utility bill with ease.
In this guide, we’ll discuss some essential tips regarding air sealing around windows and doors and other areas within the home that can benefit from an extra level of attention. Read on for a complete guide on saving energy through effective DIY air sealing.
Caulk the Gaps
Air leaks can be found in several areas throughout the home, and one common place is around windows and doors. Hold your hand near these areas and feel for drafts to find the leaks. Once you’ve identified the culprit, use caulk to seal any cracks or gaps around the frame. This will prevent air from escaping or entering through these openings.
When caulking, use a high-quality, paintable caulk and carefully apply it in a smooth line. Allow the caulk to dry completely before painting over it.
Weatherstripping is an affordable and effective way to seal gaps around windows, doors, and other areas of the home. This material can be found at most hardware stores and comes in various sizes and materials, including foam, rubber, and felt.
Before adding weatherstripping, make sure the surface is clean and dry. Then, simply cut the weatherstripping to the desired length and press it firmly into place, creating a seal between the two characters. Be sure to replace weatherstripping regularly, as it can wear out over time.
Another critical area for air sealing is insulation. Make sure your attic and walls are adequately insulated to keep warm air in during the winter and out during the summer. Insulation is a barrier to prevent heat from transferring between your home’s interior and exterior, reducing the energy needed for heating and cooling.
If your insulation is old or worn, it may need to be replaced. Make sure to use high-quality insulation materials that are appropriate for your climate. You can also add insulation to commonly overlooked areas, such as the attic hatch, wall outlets, and recessed lighting fixtures. If you want to learn more about the importance of insulation, contact an expert and schedule a consultation.
Seal the Air Ducts
Air ducts are responsible for circulating air throughout your home. However, if they have any leaks or holes, they can significantly reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system. To seal these leaks, use mastic sealant or metal tape to cover any gaps or cracks in the ductwork.
It’s important to note that duct tape should not be used for this purpose, as it can deteriorate over time and create more leaks. Regularly inspect and seal your air ducts to ensure they function properly and efficiently.
By following these tips and tricks for DIY air sealing, you can reduce energy waste in your home and save money on your monthly utility bills. Take the time to inspect and seal any gaps or leaks around windows, doors, insulation, air ducts, and basements. With just a few simple steps, you can significantly impact your home’s energy efficiency.