Warmed or air-conditioned air mixes with outside air through gaps in your home’s thermal envelope-exterior walls, windows, doors,the roof, and floors. Such air leaks can waste large amounts of energy.
Most experts agree that caulking and weather stripping any gaps will pay for itself within one year in energy savings. Caulking and weather stripping will also alleviate drafts and help your home feel warmer when it’s cold outside. However, these two weatherization techniques can’t replace the need for proper insulation throughout your home.
Because caulk and weatherstripping limit indoor‑outdoor air circulation, you should assess your indoor air quality before you apply them. Some homes contain dust, mold, carbon dioxide, and other indoor air contaminants. Sealing air leaks in these homes, without proper ventilation, can also seal in their indoor air pollutants. Therefore, any plan to tighten the thermal envelope of a home should be accompanied by a look at your home’s ventilation needs.
You may already know where some air leakage occurs in your home, such as an under-the-door draft that makes you want to put on socks. But you’ll probably need to search to find the less obvious gaps. Also inspect around the following for any cracks and gaps that could cause air leaks.
- Look between foundation and walls
- Between the chimney and siding
- Door and window frames
- Mail shutes
- Electrical and gas service entrances
- Cable TV and phone lines
- Outdoor water faucets
- Where dryer vents pass through walls Bricks, siding, stucco, and foundation
- Air conditioners Vents and fans
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