Yardley Voice – Going Green Solar Column – October 2015
by Sarah Bergen, Blogger/Publicist, Exact Solar
Winter is creeping in and it’s time to store away air conditioners and crank up the heat. Can you stay warm and still reduce your energy consumption and also save money?
The answer is definitely yes and it’s a key step not only toward helping your wallet, but also pushing our country as a whole toward energy independence and a sustainable future. What a waste to spend money running your oil or gas heater, only to have that nice, toasty air escape out cracks and crevices in your home!
Keeping your home cozy all winter can be costly, but according to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating bills can be cut by up to 30% by sealing air leaks. This requires a small initial investment, but these improvements will quickly pay for themselves by cutting heating and cooling costs year round.
Air leaks can be found all over a home, and involve some investigative work to locate. Look for cracks around all door and window frames. You should not be able to see any light around a doorframe. If you can rattle the windows, air is escaping from them as well.
Once air leaks are located, it’s time for a trip to the store for some sealing supplies. For best results, use rubber weather stripping, which is 10 times more efficient than foam or felt weather stripping.
Rubber weather stripping costs $6 to $15 for 10 feet, depending on the thickness of the stripping. However, foam or felt stripping is a cheaper alternative, at about half of the price of rubber stripping. Any small cracks around window frames can also be sealed with transparent tape.
Don’t forget to seal underneath doors as well. Slide-on door bottoms keep the cold air out and the hot air in and only cost about $10. Be sure to replace garage door bottoms if they are worn. Also, be sure to head outside and check the foundation of the home for any cracks. Seal any small cracks with caulk, and stuff foam caulk saver, which costs about $4 for 20 feet, into larger cracks, then seal with caulk.