Window Caulking

Weatherization Tips to Maximize Home Energy Usage

March 15, 2015

If you’re looking for ways to maximize your home energy usage and cut energy costs, home weatherization will do the trick.

Weatherizing your home involves making small, usually low-cost changes with the goal of improving overall energy efficiency. While minor on the surface, these changes can have a significant impact on energy usage and utility bills. It can also make the home more comfortable to live in.

Worthwhile Weatherization Tasks

  • Caulk around the rim joist of your home. Look at where the wooden framework of your home sits on the foundation. There’s a thick wooden board sitting on top of the concrete blocks, and that is the rim joist. It’s an area that can allow air to pass into your basement or crawl space. You can use caulk or spray foam to close up any gaps.
  • Use caulk along the outside edges of your doors and windows. Any opening in your home’s exterior shell is a place where air can penetrate. Windows and doors make up the biggest openings you have. Sealing the outside edges with caulk or spray foam will keep air from coming inside or escaping to the outside.
  • Use weatherstripping along the edges of windows and doors. You need windows and doors to open and shut. When they’re shut, you need a tight seal between the moving parts and the frame. You do this with weatherstripping, a flexible strip of material that seals the crack when the door or window is closed.
  • Make sure the glazing on your windows is intact. Glazing is what holds the glass into the frame. If the glazing cracks or dries up, it can allow air to move through. You can apply a new layer of glaze, or have a professional replace the window entirely.
  • Install storm windows if you have them. Storm windows provide an extra layer of protection against winter winds.
  • Use plastic sheeting over windows that don’t have storm windows. This is especially true on north-facing windows, as they bear the brunt of winter winds.
  • Install heavy insulated drapes. These drapes can block the cold air in the winters and keep the hot summer sun out. Just remember to open them on sunny winter days to let the heat in.
  • Check around your home’s exterior for openings other than the windows and doors. These are places you need to caulk or spray foam around. These can include spigots, vent openings, electrical outlets, air conditioning hoses and dryer vents.
  • Install foam gaskets behind electrical outlets and switches on exterior walls. Even with good wall insulation in place, the outlets can let outside air sneak in. A foam gasket provides an extra layer of insulation.
  • Check the attic opening. It often gets overlooked in weatherization efforts. You can install insulation on the back of the attic opening panel. You can also add weatherstripping around the edge of the opening to make a seal when the access panel is shut.
  • Weatherize your home’s wood fireplace. The fireplace should have glass doors installed on the front. They prevent air from escaping the house while also providing a safety barrier against the flames. When the fireplace isn’t in use, close the damper. Have a fireplace professional check the damper to make sure it closes properly.
  • Don’t forget to weatherize garage doors. Cold air in the garage can penetrate into your home. Add rigid insulation to the back of the garage door and make sure it has a good seal around the edges. Weatherize any windows in the garage. If the garage walls are uninsulated, consider adding batt insulation to the walls.
  • Verify that your programmable thermostat is set properly. As seasons change, often schedules change also. Make sure your thermostat schedule reflects the times you’re in and out of the house.

Learn more about Sun Kool Air Conditioning, Inc.’s weatherization services, or contact us today at 352-282-4763 to schedule an appointment with an HVAC expert.

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