You can save 10% or more on your energy bill by reducing the air leaks in your home. Here’s how you can find them:
- Test your home for air leaks. On a windy day, hold a lit incense stick next to the common sources of air leaks shown below. If the smoke travels horizontally, you have found an air leak that may need caulking, sealing, or weatherstripping.
- Pay particular attention to air leaks at doors, windows, and places where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring penetrates through exterior walls, floors, ceilings, and soffits over cabinets.
- For a more accurate measurement of air leakage, hire a technician to conduct a blower door test in your home.
Some common sources of air leakage in your home (see diagram above):
1. Dropped ceiling
2. Recessed light
3. Attic entrance
4. Sill plates
5. Water and furnace flues
6. All ducts
7. Door frames
8. Chimney flashing
9. Window frames
10. Electrical outlets and switches
11. Plumbing and utilities
Don’t Lose Energy Out the Window
Follow these tips to reduce energy loss through your windows:
- Close your curtains and shades at night; open them during the day.
- Tape clear plastic sheeting to the inside of your window frames if drafts, water condensation, and frost are present.
- Install tight-fitting, insulating window shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing.
- Long-Term Savings Tip: Install storm windows over single-pane windows or replace them with double-pane windows with low-e coating. Look for the Energy Star seal.
Don’t Forget Your Ducts
Even though you can’t see them, your ducts may be wasting money.
- Check your ducts for air leaks. First look for sections that have separated and then look for obvious holes.
- Insulating ducts in unconditioned spaces is usually very cost effective.
- Long-Term Savings Tip: You can lose up to 60% of your heated air before it reaches the register if your ducts aren’t insulated and they travel through unheated spaces such as the attic or crawlspace. Get a qualified professional to help you insulate and repair ducts.
Source: U.S. Department of Energy