your home drafty? Though some drafts may be caused by gaps in your home's exterior
air barrier that allow cold outdoor air to enter your home, many apparent drafts
are not caused by air leaks at all.
Air leakage that
allows outdoor air into your home can increase heating and cooling expense by
10 to 30 percent. The heated or cooled air in your home will easily travel through
cracks that are hidden behind trim, under carpet, or around light fixtures. But
these tiny openings don't tend to add up to much real heat loss. It's the big
holes around chimneys, wires, and plumbing fixtures that sap your home's energy
efficiency, and the average home has lots of them.
a bright light into your attic, basement, or crawl space, and follow the paths
of these utilities where they pass through walls, ceilings, and floors. Use foam
sealant, sheet metal, or caulking to seal large openings that allow air to pass
into hidden cavities. You'll save energy in both summer and winter by sealing
these large air leaks.
Windows may seem drafty, but they don't usually leak
that much air. What happens instead is that the cold window glass cools the air
right next to the window. This cold, dense air then sinks to the floor, and flows
out across the room. Warm air flows in at the top of the window to replace the
cold air, and a circular pattern of airflow is established in the room. It's tempting
to blame all the small cracks around your windows, doors, and baseboards for these
drafts, but caulking them up usually doesn't save much energy. What is the solution
to most cold window problems? Install heavy curtains, or install storm windows
if your windows only have a single pane of glass.
can save a lot of energy and be more comfortable if you seal up your home's drafts.
But don't worry about the little stuff until you've found and sealed all the large
hidden openings in your home's air barrier.
Source: Saturn Resource Management