Seal your home or spend more…your choice

This graphic shows the common areas where leaks occur in the home.

Did your parents ever tell you to keep windows and doors shut because the outdoors didn’t need to be air conditioned/heated?  Now that you’re older you realize that what they were saying wasn’t just a silly little saying but very important.  Why would you want to spend money on heating the outdoors?  So, you keep your windows and doors shut when you have your HVAC system running…but is that really trapping the heat inside your home?  Well, yes and no.  It all comes down to how well your home is insulated and how tightly it’s sealed.

A very easy way to detect leaks is to go around to places that may have leakage (really anywhere with any sort of openings, corners, etc and do a simple test.  Take a candle or lightweight piece of cloth to these spots and if the flame or fabric move, there’s probably some air flow going on.  Never fear, though, because fixing the loose seals are pretty easy and cost effective.  Have a free weekend?  Seal your home!  The few dollars you spend fixing problems will save you even more and keep your home more comfortable down the line.

Have electrical outlets?  Of course you do!  The ones placed on walls shared with the outside can surprisingly leak a lot of air.  The good news is that you can very easily insulate them with these little beauties.  They’re super cheap and very easy to install with just a screwdriver and a few minutes of your time.  Older homes, especially,  are notorious for having badly insulated outlets so this will help those little leaks.

Caulk and spray foam are some of your best friends when it comes to sealing up any cracks and gaps around your home that are letting air flow freely in and out.  The space around your windows can be a major spot that wastes your energy dollars and should be caulked every once in awhile to ensure air isn’t escaping through any small spaces.  Caulk can be used to seal many other areas in your home, too… what a wonderful invention!  For bigger crevices, spray foam can be used to fill cracks and add some insulation to your home.  Another way to halt air flow is by weatherstripping windows and doors.  It’s cheap and effective.  Lastly, door snakes  block the draft from under doors.  You can make your own or readily buy them from most stores.

Your ducts also need to be tightly sealed.  Did you know leaky ducts can cause you to lose 10-20 percent (or more!) of your warmed air?  Small leaks can be taken care of during a weekend project by using a good duct sealing tape (not actually duct tape, but a metal tape), but larger gaps need to be taken care of by a professional.  Duct work can also be insulated to help save money.

These are just a few tips on how to seal up your home from the elements and save some money.  This would be much, much longer if we went into detail on every spot in your home that can leak air, but you get the gist.  If in doubt, call a professional to analyze your energy loss and to fix the issues, but a lot of them are easily done at home.  For more tips around your home, check out our other blog posts.

Bel-O has been in business for 60 years, serving Belleville, IL and surrounding area.  We can be reached at (618) 509-9995.  If comfort is your plan, call the Beloman.