Winter or summer, one thing is almost certain – the temperature outside your home doesn’t match the temperature within. But, unless your home is properly sealed and weatherproofed, the conditions outside have a good chance of affecting your comfort inside. A leaky house also means extra energy consumption for your heating and air system, leading to higher utility bills and environmental stress. The solution is simple: Weatherproof your home with a few quick, easy methods that won’t break your wallet.
1. Break Out the Caulk
If you measured every gap, crack, and air leak in your house, you would likely find you have the equivalent of a window open year-round. Perhaps the most important step you can take to combat drafts and keep the heat either inside or out is to load a caulk gun and hunt down the holes. Choose a quality caulk (you generally get what you pay for) and create a homemade draft detector to test for leaks with a hairdryer and a candle or stick of incense.
2. Fill it With Foam
Expanding foam insulation not only insulates well, it’s a natural air barrier, unlike fiberglass insulation. Sold at most department, hardware or home improvement stores, it’s fairly inexpensive when used for small areas. (For wall insulation, it’s better applied by a professional using industrial machines.) Use low-expansion formulas, sometimes specified as window and door formula, and follow the instructions regarding the application – a little squirt goes a long way. To remove excess, once it has cured as specified, cut it flat with a utility knife. If it gets on fiberglass, on the other hand, wipe it away immediately to prevent an almost impossible removal.
3. Seal Your Attic
Unless you have a finished attic area with a regular staircase, the only thing sealing your attic entry may be a piece of drywall covering the hole in your ceiling or a bit of plywood with a pull-down staircase attached. Neither is much barrier to heat transfers, which means you’re losing a lot of your heat and air through your roof. To fix it, purchase an attic stair cover at a home improvement store or make one yourself. The effect will be worth the money.
4. Treat Your Windows
Even the newest windows transfer more heat and cold than insulated exterior walls. Older windows, often single-paned and possibly glazed in place, are even worse. Of course, a house without windows isn’t the solution, and upgrading windows is costly.
5. Install Insulation
Insulation is the single most important thing standing between your family and the weather outdoors. Insulation isn’t just for cold climates, either. Proper insulation levels will help keep your home cooler in the summer. It really does pay for itself.
Have a good weekend, everyone!