If you can really save thirty percent on your utility bills that would be the same as getting three months for free each year. Now, the question is, how?
On average the American household spends almost two thousand dollars on annual electric bills. So, that would calculate to more than one hundred sixty dollars per month. When you add in the additional cost for refrigeration and temperature control for air conditioning and heating, youre definitely getting close to two hundred and fifty dollars on average each month.
Whether you are average, below or above, when manufacturers, factories, and energy conservationists tell you that if you can keep a thermal seal on your home you can achieve a thirty percent savings, that still calculates to three month free utilities. Thats, of course, if it is believable; and more importantly, if it really works for you.
Sealing an envelope and sealing a home are two very different tasks. Guess which one is harder to do. Heres the 1, 2, 3 for you:
1. Improve the thermal seal at doors and windows
It is true that your home construction must breath. That means it is not possible to maintain an air tight seal around your home because your home wouldnt handle the air pressure that would inevitably build up. However, a thermal seal can be improved so as to keep the external air temperature from becoming the internal air temperature.
Doors, windows, frames and sills must be inspected for cracks, crevices, gaps, and broken glass. These are the multiple breaks in the thermal seal of your home. Take the time to check the condition of weather stripping in these places. Weather stripping is a rubberized belt that can be attached at the stationary portion of a union between moving parts and fixed construction. Every door and window has this challenge.
Weather stripping belts in the form of a v are best suited for home entry points. Face the open portion of the v towards the outside of the home. This allows the moving part to close with a slight gap between the fixed part and the seal captures that gap and repels the draft to the outside.
2. Consider viewable seals for less viewed windows
Plastic window covers (http://homewindowsreplaced.com) can be shrink wrapped over your existing windows you choose not to open for the season. This significantly reduces any air exchange to the outside or entry to the inside and can be installed without restricting the view through the window. This is popular in many areas due to its relative low cost and convenient fix. A variety of home windows seal kits are available in most do-it-yourself home improvement stores.
3. Remove all the door and threshold gaps
Most home owners never realize that a closed door might not mean a thermal seal. The threshold of a doorway is often stepped on and kicked unintentionally. This abuse mounts up over time and creates air gaps that become drafts for air, pollutants, allergens, and moisture. Door gaps can happen as the wooden door expands and contracts caused by temperature change or when doors are not correctly installed. These gaps can be floated out with shims or foam. The threshold gaps can be treated the same way and with very little musk or fuss. This is different from weather stripping mainly because the functionality only affects the stationary, fix portion of the construction and not the moving parts. Be sure to keep your doors sealed and tight.
Another area where stationary, fixed construction is a must can be found in your walls. Achieving the thermal seal at windows, doors, sills, frames, and joints is done with weather stripping. Achieving the same for your walls requires insulation, flanges, foam, mudding, floating, caulking, and painting. Its a process. It works only if you are thorough and catch every crevice, crack, and break you can possibly detect. When you have, your thermal seal needs to be maintain and your savings will remain.