Five Ways to Button Up Your House
Whether you’re in a new or older home, you can get immediate savings on your cold weather energy budget by checking these key places where heat escapes:
- Take inventory of pipes, ducting, and outlet covers, and then plug, fill, cover or eliminate as many sources of air leaks as possible. The tiniest leaks can add up to big energy losses.
- Especially in older homes, make sure attics are ventilated, and that insulation is evenly spread and has an R–38 to R–49 value. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, buttoning up an underinsulated attic can cut heating bills by 30 percent.
- Drafty doors and windows represent nearly 21 percent of all sources of air leaks. Check weather stripping around doors and windows to make sure it is still pliable, look for possible leaking areas, and repair or replace as necessary. Caulk cracks, gaps, and seams in siding, and the trim around doors and windows.
- Leave at least 12 inches of clearance around heating ducts, baseboards, or radiators.
- Consider adding a humidifier and then lowering the thermostat to increase comfort and improve efficiency.