Home Efficiency: Air Sealing

The cheapest way to better insulate your home is through air sealing. What’s that? It’s cutting off drafts from the outdoors from entering your house by sealing around windows, doors, plumbing connections, and any other areas where breezes from outside can be felt.  There are several methods that you can use.

For the outside of most window and door frames you can use a non-toxic caulk to seal up any gaps.  In doorways and window sashes there are many types of weather-stripping that can be installed.  For any larger holes, like around plumbing fixtures or vents, putting in plywood, drywall or rigid foam insulation is more appropriate – and aside from keeping cold or hot air out, plugging these types of holes will help keep rodents and other pests out of your house as well.

Be aware that fixing drafts around chimneys and dryer vents may are of special concern due to high temperatures, so only install materials suitable for those areas! Ask the folks at the home improvement or hardware store what’s best or hire a contractor to do the job and avoid fire risk.

A very simple way to lessen drafts is putting up drapes or other window coverings and keeping them closed at night. It’ll be a buffer to drafts as well as outside heat or cold plus you’ll likely get a better night’s sleep in a dark room.

Here are a few simple videos showing different methods of air sealing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8cXoLV_seA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAPv9wdrNuo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0vzXjqfEDM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jvyp5e1rJMc&feature=relmfu

After you’ve air sealed your home, a next step is insulation.

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