Whether it’s newly built or more than 100 years old, you want to feel comfortable in your home. As the seasons change, are you bothered by high heating or cooling bills, damp musty smells or drafty windows? Making your home more comfortable, in any season, can be as easy as following the advice in these six simple steps.
1. Have an Energy Audit or Home Consultation
Home consultations give you a basis for making decisions on which improvement should take priority, and which could be more cost effective. A free evaluation with a Farnum Insulators advisor will determine whether a more in-depth energy audit is necessary.
“The biggest surprise our customers have is when they call us to look at their attic insulation and we insist on inspecting their basements for potential moisture problems,” says Chad Farnum, owner of Farnum Insulators. “The reason is tightening a home without dealing with moisture can cause future problems.”
2. Caulking and Weather Stripping
This can be done yourself at a low cost. Simply caulking around window trim and baseboards can be very effective. Reducing drafts and heat loss will generate savings year after year. Weather stripping, a foam or felt product that is used to seal doors and windows, can be found at many hardware stores. Installation is as easy as pressing the adhesive down on a door frame!
3. Sealing Leaky Heating Ducts
The United States Department of Energy says, “Air ducts are one of the most important systems in your home and if the ducts are poorly sealed, or insulated, they are contributing to higher energy bills.” In addition, heating ducts are often located in the basement, where mold, mildew and moisture can be drawn into them and distributed throughout the house. Repairing these heating ducts at the joints is the best way to keep your hot/cool air system from spreading indoor pollutants, like mold spores, throughout your home and keep the conditioned air circulating well.
4. Insulate the Attic
Attic insulation is essential to keeping the hot or cold air from leaking out. “It’s so important to remove existing insulation rather than simply adding extra layers, since this insulation can contain pollutants like mouse droppings, dust, pollen, spiders or mold,” Farnum says. “Our approach is to remove the existing insulation as needed, air seal the attic space and then install a thick, 16” layer of cellulose insulation that meets today’s energy requirements.”
Heat loss into an attic space will melt snow on the roof creating dangerous ice dams, which could also lead to roof leaks causing extensive damage to a home.
5. Insulate the Basement, Crawl Space and the Rim Joist
Huge heating costs and drafty homes can often be attributed to poor insulation in basements, rim joists and crawl spaces. “By using techniques such as spray foam insulation on basement walls and rims, and installing vapor barriers on dirt floors, we’re able to greatly reduce moisture issues within a home,” says Farnum. “Older homes often have no insulation in basements. By insulating these areas we are not only helping to reduce a homeowner’s energy bill, but also reducing the infiltration of harmful gases, such as radon and other airborne particles, from entering the home.”
6. Install Interior Storm Windows
When you think of fixing drafty windows, often the go-to move is to replace the entire window. That’s an expensive option. Alternatively, Indow Windows may be a better, less costly option. These custom made interior acrylic panels work in conjunction with your existing windows to prevent heat loss and reduce drafts. Fitted with a silicone compression gasket, these durable interior storm windows are easy to install and remove seasonally.
Original Date: June 11 2018