Guide to Energy Efficiency 3 - Home Sealing Guide to Energy Efficiency 3 - Home Sealing
The exterior of your home is called the "envelope" or "shell." The envelope is made up of the outer walls, ceiling, windows, and floor. It is common to find both old and new homes that have poorly performing "envelopes" - that is, they have drafty air leaks and are poorly insulated. An envelope that performs poorly leads to an uncomfortable home and higher heating and cooling bills. This is especially true when the weather outside is very cold or hot. Sealing air leaks and adding insulation can increase your home's overall comfort, as well as reduce heating and cooling bills.
Energy Star Home Sealing Process
- Seal air leaks to reduce drafts and get the full performance out of insulation. Always seal air leaks before adding insulation.
- Add insulation to keep your home comfortable and energy-effcient. Usually, the easiest and most effective place to add insulation is in the attic. This can improve comfort throughout the home. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recommends insulation levels for each part of the house, tailored for varying climates.
- Choose Energy Star Qualified windows when replacing or adding windows to your home. In addition to making you feel more comfortable, they reduced UV damange to interior fabrics and can help you save money on heating and cooling costs. Be sure the windows you choose are qualified for you climate zone.
Benefits of Home Sealing:
- Improved comfort, especially during periods of hot or cold weather.
- Lower energy use, which means lower energy bills.
- A quieter home due to less noise entering from the outside.
- Fewer holes where pollen, dust, pollution, and insects can enter your home.
- Improved durability of the building structure through the reduced movement of moist air.
Whether you do it yourself or have a contractor work on you home, it is important to have your local haeting and cooling contractor perform a Combustion Safety Test after sealing air leaks to be sure all your gas and oil buring appliances are working properly. A good time to have it checked is during your annual heating system check-up. Of course, another way to help ensure good indoor air quality in your home is to test for radon.