The older your home the more likely you are to find air leaks around windows, outlets, doors and other exposed areas. These leaks aid a process called infiltration in which outdoor air flows into a home forcing heating systems to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature.
Exterior walls, floors, roof, windows, and doors create an energy envelope around your home. Maintaining that envelope is vital to protecting you from the outside elements and controlling the cost of heating the indoors.
- A storm door that doesn’t fit securely is letting cold air penetrate your home. Installing a new one will cut down on drafts and prevent heat loss.
- Single pane windows can mean significant loss of your valuable energy. As a temporary measure you can apply tape-on window insulation plastic, but to do the job right add storm windows.
- If your basement is not properly insulated cold air is moving into your house around the clock. Insulating your basement ceiling will increase your home’s energy efficiency immediately. Also, check windows for leaks here as well.
- Hold your hand in front of an outside wall outlet and you’ll be surprised at the cold air seeping in. Multiply that by all the outlets on outside walls and you can imagine how small gaps, cracks and spaces can compromise your home’s energy envelope. Slipping precut insulating pads underneath the cover plates will cut down on this heat loss.
- Some other things you can do to help secure the envelope of your home for winter include replacing worn door stops, weather-stripping exterior doors, and adding insulation up to recommended R-values, particularly in the attic.
Protecting the envelope of your home can have many extra benefits. A well insulated home not only reduces the cost of heating, you’ll experience less noise pollution, cleaner air, and reduce the chance of ice-dams. So this winter put protecting your home’s envelope at the top of your project list.