Editor's Note: These weatherization
tips were compiled from
including: Energy Savers: Tips
on Saving Energy and
Getting a Leg Up on Your
Warm air leaking into your home during
the summer and out of your home during the winter can waste a substantial
portion of your energy dollars. One of the quickest dollar saving tasks you can
do is caulk, seal and weatherstrip all seams, cracks and openings to the
outside. You can save ten percent or more on your energy bill by reducing the
air leaks in your home, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
- First, test your
home for air tightness. On a windy day, hold a lit incense stick next to your
windows, doors, electrical boxes, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets,
ceiling fixtures, attic hatches and other locations where there is a possible
air path to the outside. If the smoke stream travels horizontally, you have
located an air leak that may need caulking, sealing or weatherstripping.
- Caulk and
weatherstrip doors and windows that leak air.
- Caulk and seal air leaks
where plumbing, ducting or electrical wiring penetrates through exterior
walls, floors, ceilings and soffits over cabinets.
- Install rubber gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on
- Look for dirty spots in your
insulation, which often indicate holes where air leaks into and out of your
house. You can seal the holes by stapling sheets of plastic over the holes and
caulking the edges of the plastic.
- Install storm windows over single-pane windows or replace them
with double-pane windows. Storm windows as much as double the R-value of
single-pane windows and they can help reduce drafts, water condensation and
frost formation. As a less costly and less permanent alternative, you can use
a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the
inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Remember, the
plastic must be sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.
What is Weatherization?
Sealing homes by caulking,
weatherstripping and other air
infiltration measures, and
attic, wall and floor insulation.
- When the fireplace is not in use, keep the flue
damper tightly closed. A chimney is designed specifically for smoke to escape,
so until you close it, warm air escapes .
24 hours a day.
- For new construction, reduce exterior
wall leaks by either installing house wrap, taping the joints of exterior
sheathing, or comprehensively caulking and sealing the exterior walls.
- If you have heating or cooling ducts located in an
attic or crawl space, make sure all duct joints are sealed with mastic (not
duct) tape and that ducts are securely connected to register
Where Air Escapes From a
Return to the Summer 1999