Sealing and Insulation Tips to Save Energy
Improving how your home is sealed and insulated is one of the best ways to boost your home’s energy efficiency. Although some projects are best suited for professionals, even little tasks, like adding or replacing weather stripping, can greatly improve the energy efficiency of your house. Below, we detail several ways you can better seal and insulate your home, from simply drawing the curtains to installing brand new super-efficient doors.
Interior insulation is a critical component of home energy efficiency. Adding more insulation to your home is often the most cost-effective improvement you can make.
- Make sure every part of your house is insulated; you can reduce your home's heating and cooling costs through proper insulation.1
- Spray foam insulation is great for getting into all the nooks and crannies.
- Pay special attention to attics and ductwork when insulating.
Whether you are building a new home or just want to get the most out of your current windows, these tips will ensure your windows don’t diminish the energy efficiency of your home.
- Look for ENERGY STAR® windows, which meet minimum energy efficiency standards.
- Purchase double-pane windows that offer added insulation.
- Use weather stripping and caulk to seal any cracks or gaps.
Doors are another primary area for air flow, making it an important aspect of home efficiency. See below to find out which doors are most efficient, along with other tips.
- Doors with foam insulation cores offer the best insulation and energy efficiency.2
- Beware of glass doors — these doors are poor insulators and will transfer heat quickly.
- Use storm doors for added insulation if your primary door is poorly insulated.
- Use weather stripping around the edge to ensure a tight seal.
Weather stripping and caulking
Weather stripping and caulk are valuable tools when you want to shore up your existing home and make it more energy efficient.
- Use weather stripping around areas where frequent movement occurs, like doors and windows.
- Caulk around outside connections like doors, windows, electrical plates and utility ports.
- Seal any cracks, gaps, holes or other similar areas where you find a draft.
Curtains and shades
Curtains and shades offer a simple yet elegant solution for energy efficiency.
- Draw curtains and shades to block direct sunlight and keep your home cool.
- Place awnings over windows to lower heating caused by direct sunlight.
- Use solar screens to shield windows that receive lots of sunlight.
Carpets and rugs
Floor coverings provide more utility than mere aesthetic appeal as they can produce immediate results in insulating your home.
- Use carpets and rugs to help insulate your floors and contain heat.
- Place rugs in front of sofas and chairs and in areas with frequent barefoot traffic.
- Thick, wool rugs are the best at keeping warmth in, but even thin rugs can make a big difference in the temperature you feel around your home.
1U.S. Department of Energy http://energy.gov/public-services/homes/home-weatherization/insulation
2U.S. Department of Energy http://energy.gov/energysaver/doors