Seal Up Air Leaks to Reduce Heat Loss
Air leakage is responsible for the greatest amount of heat loss
from your home. In fact, it can add up to 30 to 40% or your
heating bill. What's more, this heat loss through tiny holes and
cracks in your home is increased by wind, the temperature
difference between your home and the outdoors, and the operation
of mechanical systems in your home including dryers, exhausts,
Do it Yourself caulking and weather-stripping
However, with some simple, do-it-yourself
caulking and weather-stripping, you can seal up those air leaks
and keep 5 to 15% of that "lost heat" inside your home. That's a
direct energy and cost saving to you.
Check for air leaks by looking for cracks and
feeling for drafts on a cold or windy day. Then seal them up.
Check sill plates, ceiling penetrations -- such as light
fixtures, ceiling fans, plumbing stacks -- windows, wood-burning
fireplaces, exterior doors, pipe and wire entrances, attic
hatches, and electrical outlets as well as switches for air
leaks and seal them up.
Add Insulation to Reduce Heat Loss
If snow melts on your roof or around the sides of your house on
cold, dull winter days, you probably need more insulation in
your attic or basement walls. Increasing the insulation in your
home can reduce heat loss.
Your heat loss reduction priority list
Adding insulation may cost more than sealing
air leaks, but is very effective. To reduce heat loss from your
home, your dollars and efforts are best spent on the following
- insulating your
- insulating your
- sealing air leaks
around windows and doors, or replacing the windows and doors
insulating your walls
Section Six of our Wise Energy Guide provides more
detailed information on air sealing and insulation.