Looking for just one thing you can do to improve your home’s energy efficiency?
Significantly reduce air infiltration. Gaps or cracks in a building’s exterior envelope of foundation, walls, roof, doors, windows, and especially “holes” in the attic floor can contribute to energy costs by allowing conditioned air to leak outside.
Most Common Sources of Air Infiltration:
- Bypasses (attic access door, recessed lighting, plumbing stacks, dropped soffits, open frame construction, duct penetrations, electrical penetrations, etc.) in the attic floor regardless of the presence of insulation, which by itself is not an air barrier. If you see dirty insulation, air is getting through.
- Between foundation and rim joist
- Crawl spaces
- Around the attic hatch
- Between the chimney and drywall
- Chimney flue
- Electrical and gas service entrances
- Cable TV and phone line service entrances
- Window AC units
- Mail chutes
- Electric outlets
- Outdoor water faucets entrances
- Where dryer vents pass through walls
- Under the garage door
- Around door and window frames
- Cracks in bricks, siding, stucco and the foundation
- Mudrooms or breezeways adjacent to garages
- Public utilities often have programs where they can provide assistance and incentives for air sealing.
- Stop ice dams with attic air sealing and proper insulation.
Drafts can also be reduced by simple measures such as:
- Closing curtains, blinds, shades, or interior shutters at night in cold weather.
- Use draft “snakes” at doors (or simply a rolled towel).
- Close fireplace damper and/or use an inflatable device that fills the flue opening (sold under a variety of names) when fireplace is not being used in winter.