With Labor Day looming, the autumn and winter months aren’t far behind. It’s a good time to reflect on your home’s heating and cooling costs, and take steps to lower your energy bills. Finding air leaks may be a perfect first project.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, up to 30 percent can be cut from a home’s energy costs just by reducing drafts. For example, a 1/16-inch gap unsealed gap around a window is equivalent to leaving the window 3 inches open.
That’s a lot of wasted Chicago air.
The good news is that air leaks are rather simple to identify, and simple to fix. The key is to know where to look. And, to make the job easier, the government offers a complete DIY Guide To Sealing and Insulating a home.
Some of the key tips include:
- Focus on the attic and basement, where most air is lost
- Locate problem areas on a chimney
- Check recessed lights which allow air flow between conditioned and unconditioned air
The government’s website also provides a 13-page PDF with detailed images, instructions, and recommendation to help you with the work.
However, if the job is beyond your skill set, be sure to call a qualified contractor. Sealing your home from air leaks will reduce your monthly energy bill and the money spent to pay a professional will be just a fraction of what you’ll save over time.
(Image courtesy: US Department of Energy)