(Family Features) - Are you shivering and bundling up inside your house? If your thermostat is set at the desired temperature, your furnace runs continuously, your utility bills are ridiculously high, but you are still cold, it is probably because energy is escaping your house.
As it gets colder outside, here are some clues that will indicate if your home has air leaks:
- You feel drafts or air moving even when all of your windows and doors are closed.
- The floor directly in front of the sink feels colder than the rest of the floor.
- There is a drastic temperature difference between levels in your house.
- You find bugs in the same room over and over again.
Outside air typically enters the home where building materials meet and where wires and pipes penetrate through the walls.
The EPA estimates that homeowners can typically save up to 20 percent of heating and cooling costs by air sealing their homes and adding insulation in attics, floors over crawl spaces, and accessible basement rim joists. Sealing and insulating these areas add up to an average of $200 worth of savings a year on energy costs.
There are several easy and cost-effective ways to eliminate drafts.
- Replace weather-stripping around doors, including the garage door.
- Add extra insulation in your attic.
- Insulate perimeter walls in your basement.
- Insure that the chimney flue is closed.
Filling gaps and cracks with an insulating foam sealant is an easy, fast solution that anyone can undertake. Sealants such as Great Stuff form an airtight, water-resistant seal that cures rigid. The foam is sandable, paintable, and can be trimmed with a utility knife afterwards.
Some common and effective places to seal include the holes where the HVAC ductwork enters the living space from the basement and attic, the attic hatch frame, plumbing stacks and shafts, and pipe, wire and conduit penetrations.
For a full list of places to use foam sealant, visit http://greatstuff.dow.com/pdfs/checklist.pdf.