Space conditioning is the largest source of energy use in most homes, and air leaks can waste a significant amount of your energy dollars. You can save up to 10 percent on heating and cooling costs and make your home more comfortable year-round by sealing air leaks. Six low-cost energy-saving measures follow:
- Windows. Windows are the largest source of energy loss in a typical home. Caulking is one of the most cost-effective ways to make your home more comfortable and efficient. Inspect the outside of your windows for cracked caulking; remove and replace if necessary.
- Doors. Do your exterior doors have weatherstripping? Check around the inside of the door frame for weatherstripping. Add new weatherstripping or replace existing weatherstripping if it appears to be torn or frayed.
- Gaps. Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, wiring, or ductwork penetrate through exterior walls, floors, or ceilings.
- Attic. Make sure the attic is tightly sealed. Check around the attic opening, as well plumbing vent stacks, chases around chimneys and openings around vents and ducts.
- Outlets. Install foam gaskets behind outlets and switch plates on exterior walls. Be sure to shut off electricity before performing any work.
- Chimney. For homes with a fireplace, a significant amount of energy can be lost through the chimney. Keep the flue damper tightly closed when the fireplace is not in use. Low-cost accessories, such as flue sealers, glass doors, and inserts, can reduce heat loss and make your fireplace more efficient when in use.
To ensure that your home is as efficient as it can be, consider a home energy audit. A professional auditor will perform a complete home inspection, including a blower door test and thermal imaging, to locate areas where your home may be wasting energy.