Saving Money By Sealing Your Home

Don’t think of this as just a “winter” topic either – you can save money on your cooling costs starting now by taking some simple steps to seal (or “tighten”) your home.

  • Air leakage amounts to 30-40% of a home’s heating and cooling costs.
  • Stopping air leakage is important not only for energy savings, but also for protecting your home from the damaging effects of moisture and resulting mold.
  • When air leaks in through walls, it carries humidity. When it hits a cold spot, it condenses and causes insulation and the surrounding wood to get wet, resulting in wood rot and mold growth.

Most people assume the majority of a home’s air leakage occurs through windows and doors – but this really only accounts for 10-15% of air leakage in a home. So before you spend a lot of money on just replacing windows and thinking you’re saving lots of energy, consider taking some of these steps first:

  • The greatest areas of air leakage occur around the top of the foundation and around the penetrations to the attic. Seal the foundation (rim joist) with caulk or expanding foam. To seal the attic penetrations, push back the insulation and seal the holes around the wiring and plumbing stacks.
  • To seal around the existing windows, use a clear caulk around the window frames where the trim meets the wall. Add weatherstripping if necessary.
  • Seal around all ceiling fixtures, heat registers, medicine cabinets, bath tubs, kitchen cabinets, drain and water pipes where they enter the wall in kitchen and bath and any other interior wall penetrations.

Visit your nearest Home Depot or Lowe’s and pick up these simple materials. They can really help you save a lot of money year-round. And keep in mind, a trained professional with proper training and equipment is always best-suited to pinpoint specific points of air leakage and recommend the necessary improvements.

Have you tried any of these solutions to stop air leakage in your home? Share your experiences and costs savings here. For more information, visit CyberGreenRealty.com for links to locally-trained professionals in the Arlington, Massachusetts area.

Until next time, peace!

-TMC

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2 responses to this post.

  1. I am about to seal my rim/band joist cavities. how much money should i expect to save. I have about 175 linear feet with a 4 inch cavity. any feedback would be greatly apprciated. Thanks

    Reply

  2. Hi Ryan,
    Thanks for taking the time to comment on this post and asking your question! Unfortunately, I’m not an engineer or a technical expert in this area, so off the top of my head I’m unable to answer your question. I’m sure your savings, though, will be well worth the effort.
    Of course, I think it depends on your actual location as well as other factors regarding the structure of your house, etc. I think the best person to answer your question would be a licensed and trained home energy auditor. If you live in the Arlington MA area, you can find a listing of local home energy auditors on my web site (Cybergreenrealty.com) under the Eco Friendly Partners listing. If you don’t live in the Arlington, MA area, let me know and I’ll be happy to find a local auditor for you and send you his/her contact info.
    Thanks again for reading and posting your question! I hope you continue to find my posts useful.
    -Tim

    Reply

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