Summer is just around the corner and it’s time to think about how to weatherproof your house. Learn what simple steps you can take to trap cool air in, keep hot air out and save on your utilities as the weather heats up.
Schedule an energy audit:
Most energy companies offer cheap or free energy audits. During the audit, an energy expert goes through your home and looks at the energy efficiency of your appliances as well as your home in general. They identify air leaks and help you find ways to make your home more efficient.
Fill the gaps:
After the energy audit, work on filling any air gaps the auditor identified. You can fill small gaps around baseboards and near the foundation with a bead or strip of caulk. For larger holes and gaps, expanding foam works perfectly; use it around electrical outlets, underneath door jambs and in other hard to reach spaces.
Insulate the entrance to the attic:
In addition to stopping warm air from seeping in from the outside, you also have to stop it from seeping out of your attic into the rest of your home. Because attics are typically not cooled by the HVAC system and they’re situated underneath your roof, where the sun sinks into dark tiles all day, your attic can harbor a lot of heat.
To keep heat from the attic out of your living spaces, check how well the entrance to your attic is insulated. If you access your attic through a panel that you move aside, glue some insulated batting to the attic side of it to make it more substantial. If you have a small door with a ladder attached, consider investing in an insulated attic door cover to keep the hot air from sneaking through the access point and into your living space.
Replace weather stripping:
After you finish sealing gaps and check your attic, look at the weather stripping on the bottom of your doors and along your sliding windows. If it is tattered or worn, replace it. It’s a simple repair that immediately makes your home more efficient. Simply scrape off the old weather stripping with a putty knife and glue on a new strip. Make sure each strip is flush with the door or window frame but that it doesn’t prevent the door or window from opening.
If your ventilation system isn’t working properly, your home won’t be able to shed the hot air it doesn’t need. Make sure all the vents leading out of your attic are free of debris, inside and out. Also, check the vents connected to your HVAC system and make sure they’re clean. Blockages can trap heat in and can cause your cooling system to run less efficiently.
As you make changes to help weatherproof your home, track your repairs and keep any notes you get from energy auditors. Also, keep copies of your electricity bill to show how different weatherproofing efforts have improved the efficiency of your home. This information can serve as a valuable tool when you decide to sell.
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