Are you losing money through your walls? How about under the door or through your electrical outlets?
The costs of natural gas, heating oil and electricity have skyrocketed in recent years. A poorly insulated and sealed home could literally cost you a fortune.
The ‘thermal wrap’ around your home prevents the air that you heat and cool from mixing with the outside air. Preventing this from happening requires proper insulation in your walls and attic and sealing all cracks and crevices in the exterior walls of your home.
The efficiency of insulation to resist heat flow is measured in R-value. The higher the R-value, the better the insulating effect.
It is important to have the correct amount of insulation on the exterior walls of your home and in the attic. This will prevent heat exchange through the exterior surfaces of your home.
There are several insulation products available. Most people are familiar with pink fiberglass insulation. There is also cellulose insulation (it looks like shredded newspaper and is commonly found in attics) and expanded foam insulation.
If you are building a new home, check with your contractor about the most efficient and cost-effective insulting material for your home.
If you live in an older home without exterior wall insulation, it is possible to add insulation without tearing down the walls. You can cut a small hole along the top edge of each exterior wall and blow out the cellulose insulation or to expand the foam into the wall cavity between the wall studs. The ideal time to do this is during a siding project. The contractor can drill the holes on the outside and then cover them with the new siding.
Fixing the leaks
Just as important as adding insulation is repairing leaks. Gaps between window and door frames and around electrical boxes can let in cold air. Finding these leaks and filling them can dramatically improve the efficiency of your home.
To find leaks, walk around the exterior walls of your home on a cold day. Run your hand over window frames, door frames, and electrical outlets. When you feel a draft, mark the spot.
Once leaks are identified, you can use caulk, putty, or expanding foam to fill in the cracks and stop the leaks.
Also be sure to check the weather stripping on your windows and doors and replace any that are missing or damaged.
Small steps have a big impact
These small steps can add up to big savings on your heating and cooling bills. You will stop spending money on heating and cooling the outside (your parents will be proud!)