Improper protection of your home’s thermal envelope, — includes the roof, walls, windows and doors, directly affects not just your house’s heating and cooling loads but your energy costs as well.
Here are some practices that will help you lower your utility bill as well as improve your home’s comfort and overall value.
Insulating your home properly will dramatically lower your heating and cooling costs.
- Start at the top. Your attic floor or the ceiling of your top story is your home’s primary candidate for insulation. Better insulating your attic or top floor could save you as much as 30% of your energy costs.
- Insulate on all sides. Insulating your exterior walls can save you as much as 20% of your heating and cooling costs.
- Energy loss underfoot. You can save about 8% of your energy costs by insulating the floor over an unheated area such as crawl spaces, basements and garages.
2. Weather Stripping
Stop leaks and weatherstrip to seal around movable joints like doors or windows. This is mostly a do it yourself job. Consider how durable the material need to be if you go shopping for weather-stripping. Since there are several varieties of weather-stripping available, take into account whether you’re using it for a heavily used door or a window that’s almost always closed. Here are some practices to properly weatherise your home.
- Threshold Weather Stripping. Buy the approximate height and width of material you need and trim to the size of your door. Fasten by nailing into place.
- Door-Bottom Weather Stripping. Aluminium and vinyl stripping for the bottom of your door are inexpensive, fairly easy to install and can last for several years.
- Tubular Vinyl Gasket Stripping. Used for windows and doors, it’s durable and flexible enough to seal uneven gaps and joints.
- Thin Spring Metal Stripping. Excellent and durable for windows and doors, though this is likely to be the most expensive. It’s practically invisible when properly applied.
- Foam-Backed Tape. Easy to install and inexpensive, but wears out easily. This is good for windows and doors that aren’t frequently used.
Caulking seals cracks and joints to keep drafts and moisture out of your home. Apply it where two unmoving parts of the building come together, including around window sill and door frames, where wood siding meets a concrete foundation, around chimneys, water faucets, intake and exhaust vents, etc. Remove any old caulk, clean the surface and allow the area to dry before starting a caulking project.
- Leafy Trees For Shade Or Sun. Plant around some leafy or deciduous trees on the south and west side of your home to provide shade from the hot sun during summer and to let the sun’s warmth during winter when they shed their leaves. Evergreens can be good winter windbreaker. Plant them along the north side and wherever prevailing winds tend to chill your home.
- Insulate with Shrubbery. Consider surrounding your home with an evergreen hedge, planted about a foot away from the foundation to create a “dead air” space that helps insulate your home during winter.