by Lori Ann
Remember last winter's cold, drafty nights? What about the electricity bills as you tried to force out the low temperatures? Getting rid of air leaks is a first step to raise the inside temp while lowering energy use!
Locating and sealing your home's air leaks is green, because you're using less energy. It's also frugal, because less energy means lower energy bills. Thankfully, it's simple, too, because the air that makes your house cool is air that's easy to identify!
I was glad this week to find the link (in a 5 minutes for going green article) to a DIY guide for conducting a home energy audit. Because I live in an apartment and don't have a heater, not all the tips are relevant to me (though check it out if you own a home and can add insulation or replace outdated heating systems).
What I can do, though, is seal up air leaks. Here's how.
What to Do
1) Find air leaks
2) Caulk & seal air leak sources
To find air leaks, the how-to guide suggests a pressurization test, which you can read about in the article. Basically, you close off everything (door, windows, etc.) and then feel for spots where air is still moving (a wet hand will feel cold). Make sure to read the directions first for a few tips and warnings.
The guide then explains which types of cracks should be caulked and which should be sealed. Because it is dangerous for combustion appliances to not have enough air, you need to read the details in the article to make sure you're not sealing necessary vents.
As an added bonus, If you're like me and battle insects inside (which take advantage of some of those leaks, like windowsill cracks) during other seasons of the year, you'll take care of that problem at the same time, too!
Share your links or tips for other ways to reduce energy use during the cold months. I'll meet you in the comments section!