Q - Now that we have had a couple of cool, windy days I am noticing an uncomfortable draft in my house. What should I do?
A - Did you know that leaks through small cracks around your windows and doors are responsible for 30-40% of the heat that leaks out of your house?
It's time to give your house that once over for cracks and areas where the cooler air will seep in and more importantly, your heat will leak out.
Begin outside by looking at places where two different building materials meet and around every opening in your siding i.e. around water spigots, dryer vents, and places where telephone and cable tv cables enter the house.
Fill all openings and cracks with caulk or expanding insulating foam.
Once inside your home, look at the following:
- Check around electrical outlets. You can get inexpensive foam gaskets to seal every outlet. Make sure your pull down attic stairs are sealed as well
- Measure the temperature in different parts of the house. Differences of a couple of degrees or more indicate that the room is poorly sealed or that air movement inside the house is poor.
If some rooms are cooler than others, your favorite HVAC company can help you zone your house properly to even out the air flow.
- It's time to weather strip windows, doors, and garage doors. It's simple and inexpensive.
- Get your caulk gun back out and seal between baseboards and floors. Remove the base molding and fill in the gap between baseboards and floor. This will not only stop air leaks, but will help seal out insects as well.
One last thing to check - if you have windows in unused parts of the house, think about sealing them with a shrink wrap. Once installed, shrink wrap is virtually invisible and easy to remove.
The best part of all of this work is that when it gets warm out again, all of these steps will help keep your cool air in (and insects out).