Sealing Drafts Can Help Reduce Energy Costs Sealing Drafts Can Help Reduce Energy Costs
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, air leakage can account for anywhere from 25 percent to 40 percent of the energy used for heating and cooling a typical home. That's why experts say a $25 investment in four tubes of a home sealant to seal up drafts and leaks in a home could result in hundreds of dollars of energy savings.
"Proper sealing is a low cost, one afternoon investment that will pay for itself in years of reduced energy costs and increased comfort," said Jeff Davis, General Manager of GESA, the maker of GE Silicone II.
To make sealing your home easier and more effective, here are a few tips:
- Look for gaps, cracks or leaks around window and door frames, in the attic and basement, anywhere building materials join, and any areas where the walls are penetrated, such as electrical and plumbing fixtures. Look for daylight that's visible through cracks around window and door frames.
- Use lighted incense sticks to locate the source of leaks. Air drafts will cause the plume of smoke to waver or flow in the direction of air leakage. As an alternative to using incense smoke, you can use your dampened hand. Drafts of air will feel cool on your damp skin.
- While there are a variety of sealant options, silicone sealants, such as GE Silicone II, are thought to provide the best seal against water and the elements because they don't shrink or crack and they remain flexible. Additionally, they can be used indoors or out. Paintable silicones, such as GE Silicone II XST, provide the benefits of a silicone sealant for applications that require painting. In addition to reducing energy leaks, some sealants contain ingredients to control other household risk factors, such as unhealthy and unsightly mold and mildew.
- Make sure that the surface you are sealing is clean and well-prepared. Clean any dust or dirt particles with water. Do not use soap. Use a knife to remove any remnants of old caulk. After you have removed most of the old caulk with a blade, clean any remaining residue with a mild abrasive or rubbing alcohol.
More information on how to properly seal a home, including windows, doors, kitchens, bathrooms, basements and other areas, can be found online at www.gesealants.com.