When you think of energy efficiency, most likely weatherization is not the first thing that comes to mind. However, this is the first and most effective place to start. Many times there are areas in the home where a draft can be felt around windows, doors, and other areas. If this is the case, air is escaping in and out of the home and reducing the effectiveness of running your heater or air conditioner. This may seem like an insignificant flow of air, but the cumulative effect could be equivalent to having a large hole in your wall.
The Least Expensive Way to Improve Energy Efficiency
Obviously, having a large hole in your wall would be unacceptable, and you would want to do something about it immediately. That’s where weatherization comes in. Fortunately, this is one of the least expensive improvements that can be done to improve energy efficiency. But before undertaking this task, be sure to have a Home Energy Audit performed to detect the air leaks and assess your ventilation needs.
The Experts Have the Right Tools
Using a energy specialist to complete an energy audit can be important for several reasons. The most obvious is that they will have the proper diagnostic tools to detect the hidden leaks that are difficult to locate (for example, infrared camera and blower door equipment), they should know the proper techniques to complete the work, and be able to test afterward to determine whether additional ventilation is required for combustion safety purposes. While some homeowners may be concerned about a too tightly sealed house, this is not likely the case with older homes.
Caulk, Spray Foam and Weather Stripping
As we’ve learned, a “drafty” house is the result of air leakage or infiltration through cracks and openings. While many are easy to locate, such as around windows and doors, many are hidden in attics and crawlspaces, behind the stairs, around outlets and openings for appliances, and so on. Properly sealing these leaks with caulk, spray foam, and weather stripping can greatly impact both your comfort and your utility bills as the furnace and air conditioner have to work less hard to keep your home at the proper temperature. (Note: sealing leaks will not solve any problems related to lack of insulation which is needed to reduce heat loss.)
Most experts agree that caulking and weather stripping should pay for themselves in energy savings within a year. For particularly “leaky” homes, air infiltration may account for 30 percent or more of the home’s heating and cooling costs and contribute to moisture, dust, insects and other issues with the home. For specific information about caulking, weather stripping, and air sealing, please see the tabs on the Weatherization bar near the top of this page.
About Synergy Companies
Synergy Companies was established in 1981 in the San Francisco Bay Area starting with home insulation, and expanding to energy efficiency and solar generation. Today Synergy Companies has offices in the Hayward and San Leandro in the East Bay; Sacramento, Lodi, and Fresno in the Central Valley; and Riverside County and San Diego in Southern California. We now offer a host of home energy management products and services including home energy audits; attic, wall, and floor insulation; insulation removal; whole house fans and attic fans; heating and air conditioning services; air sealing and weatherization; and photovoltaic solar panel installations.
Call us at (800) 429-9610 to learn more or schedule an appointment.
Frequently air can sneak its way in and out of the home around the window seals. Over the years, the sun, weather, and other factors can cause the caulking around the windows to crack and pull away. This can lead to loss of heat in the winter time and the cool inside air to escape in the summer time, leading to the waste of energy – and money. One common and effective method of combating this occurrence is to have your windows sealed right away.
Have you ever noticed sunlight shining through around the front door of your home? Maybe you’ve seen it happening at the back door as well? This not only allows for uninvited critters to stop in and make a home for themselves but it can be a significant form of energy loss. You pay good money to heat and cool your home and you don’t want it to go to waste because of an improper seal around your doors. Weather stripping is an easy and effective solution to keeping that conditioned air where you want it to stay put and keep you comfortable.
Every home has some amount of air leakage occurrence. A very small amount is required for combustion safety purposes. However, many homes have much greater levels of air leakage that result in conditioned air escaping the areas they were intended for. And the sources of these leaks can be found in places you would hardly suspect.
Air sealing (also referred to as Weatherproofing or Weatherization) involves sealing up leaks where hot and cold air can enter or exit the home around pipes, vents, ceiling fixtures, electrical outlets, and other areas that you may not think of when it comes to weatherizing your home. Using diagnostic tools (such as an infrared camera and blower door equipment), our technicians can perform a home energy audit to help you locate areas in need of sealing and determine the best solutions in moving forward with your goal to conserve energy.