Solutions for your Home
Gaps and cracks: When sealing smaller air leaks to keep air-conditioned or heated air inside your home, caulks and foam sealants are the product for you:
- Gaps up to 1/2": Caulk
- Gaps up to 2": Latex foam sealant
- Gaps over 2": Polyurethane foam sealant
- Windows: You can quickly seal around windows using caulks and weather-strip tape. You can also apply window film in the winter. If considering replacing your windows, ensure your selection is Energy Star® certified.
- Doors: As with windows, sealing around doors is quick and easy. Use caulks and weather-stripping to seal the perimeter of the door, and install a threshold to prevent air from leaking from under the door.
- Thermostats: Invest in a 5/2-day programmable thermostat and keep heat-generating appliances several feet away, such as lamps and entertainment centers.
- Ceiling fans: An inexpensive way to feel warmer in the winter, set fan to a low spin in a clockwise rotation when your heat is turned on.
- Hot water: An easy way to keep your hot water at the right temperature without using lots of additional energy is to wrap your hot water heater with an insulating jacket and hot water pipes with insulating pipe foam. Be sure to follow directions for your model type (gas, oil, or electric heater.)
- Basements: In unfinished basements, the joint between the top of the basement wall and the wooden frame is a common place for air leaks, as it is above ground on the exterior of the wall. This can be fixed by using an all-purpose sealant. Also ensure that any basement windows are properly sealed (see tip #2).
- Ducts: Heating and cooling accounts for approximately half of your energy bill. To have your HVAC system maximize its efficiency, make sure the ducts that transfer air to various rooms are well insulated and you change the HVAC filter regularly. Duct sleeves are simply installed around exposed joints in the vent system where two pieces join together to prevent heated or cooled air from leaking out.
- Attics: Attic fans cool hot attics by pulling cooler, outside air in and by pushing the hot air out. If your attic is not properly sealed from the house underneath, that expensive air-conditioned or heated air will rise to the attic and out through the fan. Seal and insulate your attic properly by using fiberglass rolls, foam sealants, or high performance sealants.
- Natural shade: Planting trees or large shrubs around your home can provide shade and will prevent the hot sun from heating up your home in the summer. Shade east- and west- facing windows and air conditioning units (be sure not to block airflow with foliage). Consult a landscaping professional before planting to prevent future damage to your home's foundation.