How to Seal Your Home: Window and Door Casings How to Seal Your Home: Window and Door Casings
These rising costs and legislation that requires new homes to be more efficient has increased the demand for energy audits. You can hire a service to come into your home and conduct an audit, giving you a score on how energy efficient your home is. If you are seeking to raise your score, or are just looking to save some money on your utilities, there are several simple things that you can do yourself to accomplish one or both of these goals.
There are several different types of products on the market specifically designed to make your house more energy efficient. The basic operating principle behind these products is to reduce the amount of airflow in and out of your house. While that may seem like a simple solution, that really is the gist of it. One can of course get technical and start talking about fenestration ratings and R-values and U-values, but the basic idea is to keep the warm air in and the cold air out.
Insulate Window and Door Casings
Let's begin with a little bit of an exercise in logic. Where is cold air most likely to come in? The answer is simple: wherever you have a hole in your house - and trust me, you have lots of holes in your house. Every window and door is essentially hanging in a giant hole. While the doors and windows may offer the best insulated glass that money can buy, it is a futile effort if the hole they are hanging in is not insulated and sealed properly.
Begin your exploration by simply running your hand over the interior casing of a window on the next cold day. Is the woodwork cold? It shouldn't be. If it is cold to the touch, gently remove a piece of the casing and take a look behind. You may be surprised to see just how "un-insulated" the space between the frame of the house and the frame of the window is. If one casing was not installed correctly, there is a pretty good chance that none of them were.
Repairing your door and window casings is an easy fix, and can be taken care of in an afternoon. Make a quick trip to the home improvement store and get a small roll of fiberglass insulation. You can usually buy small handy rolls that are made just for this purpose so you don't have to buy an entire package of batts. Use a pair of shears to cut the insulation into small enough pieces to fill the gaps. Don't over stuff the openings - insulation works best when it is allowed to expand to its natural size. If you over stuff the spaces, the compact pieces of fiberglass will forfeit their ability to capture the cold air. This technique can be used around all of your windows and exterior doors.
Brian Simkins is a freelance writer living in Chicago. He enjoys using his 14 years of home improvement experience to educate and equip new home owners.