Heating and cooling equipment accounts for a majority of money spent on electric bills. Warm air seeping into your house during the warm summers or out in the winter could be a primary reason why your electricity consumption is always very high.
Taking time to ensure that there are no cracks and/or openings that let air leak in and out could save you a ton of money. The question then is how do you go about detecting leaks and how do you seal and properly insulate your home.
Let’s go through the below interesting things that you can do:
#1 Seal Spaces Around Recessed Lighting
Look for vents around recessed lights. Most of this type of lighting fixtures have vents allowing air to flow from the attic to the house and vice versa. When buying recessed lights, look for brands that have the label ICAT, which stands for insulation contact and air tight. This means they are already sealed. If you cannot find them, you will need to fit air-tight baffles before fitting the bulb.
#2 Plug Open Stud Cavities
Your house may have a drywall that separates the living space from the unheated area, but you will need to check the insulation in the attic to see if stud cavities have been covered. If they haven’t been covered, then you can seal them with an unfaced insulation stuffed into plastic bags. The main aim is to block any kind of airflow. You can also use a scrap of reflective insulation to block airflow.
#3 Close Spaces Around Flues And Chimneys
According to most building codes, wood frames need to be kept at least an inch or two from metal flues and brick chimneys. This creates gaps that will allow the flow of air through. To stem leaks in this area you may need to cover the spaces with aluminum flashing sealed into place with a high-temperature silicone caulk.
#4 Closing Medium-Size Gaps With Polyurethane Foam
If you have medium sized gaps, low-expansion polyurethane foam is great to use. It comes in a can and can cover gaps that range from 0.25 inch to 3 inches wide. You’ll typically find such gaps around plumbing pipes. Just note that the plastic straw applicator that comes with the can seals shut after two hours. To get the most out of the can, squirt a lubricant onto a pipe cleaner and then stuff that into the applicator.
#5 Caulk Smaller Gaps
Smaller gaps are best filled with caulk. Silicone works just as well, but it is a bit costly. A low-cost alternative would be an acrylic latex caulk. It is easy to work with, less messy, and cleans up easily with water.
#6 Tighten Your Windows And Doors
This should have been the first thing mentioned. For most people, the first place to look for air leaks is around windows and doors. Do your windows and doors close tightly? If your house is relatively old, you might have to caulk or add new weatherstripping to tighten them. Whilst you are at it, you should check your floors to see if there are no cracks that might be letting air flow through.
Doing all things can help you save a lot on your energy bill and it could be your small but significant way of living a smarter, cleaner and greener life.