We’d like to thank our friends at the Edison Electric Institute for the quality list.
This week we’ll be referencing Air Infiltration. You might remember our post, Insulate on Saturday, Watch Football on Sunday, air infiltration (conditioned air leaking out and unconditioned air coming in) is a common problem that many people don’t see, but it can add up to big savings.
Here are a few tips:
- The single most important step in residential energy conservation is the installation of thermal insulation. Check current insulation levels, and properly insulate a new or existing home according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) specifications for your geographic area. Insulate ceilings, walls, and floors over unconditioned crawl spaces.
- Double-glazed windows (two panes of glass separated by a sealed air space) cut heat transfer by 40 to 50 percent. In extremely cold regions, triple glazing could be economically justified.
- Single-glazed windows should have storm windows. A wood- or metal-framed storm window provides a second thickness of glass and a layer of still air that reduces heat transmission markedly.
- Install storm doors at all entrances of your house. A storm door helps save energy because it reduces the air infiltration that occurs when the prime door is opened and also reduces the amount of heat transfer through the prime door when it is closed.
- Weatherstrip and caulk around all entrance doors and windows to limit air leaks that could account for 15 to 30 percent of heating and cooling energy requirements.
- In the winter, the air is normally dry inside your house. This is a disadvantage because, to be comfortable in dry air, people typically require a higher temperature than they would in a humid environment. Therefore, efficient humidifiers are a good investment for energy conservation.
- Keep the overhead door of an attached garage closed to block cold winds from infiltrating the connecting door between the house and garage.
- Find the obvious places where air can sneak into your home, then make repairs to plug the leaks by caulking, weatherstripping, and using plastic covers.
- Some of the major air leakage areas for the average home are: air ducts; window sashes and frames; fireplaces; door sashes and frames; plumbing utilities and wall penetrations; furnace flues; attic entrances; wall outlets; and recessed light fixtures.
- Fireplaces should have tightly fitting damp¬ers that can be closed when the fireplace is not in use. Open dampers allow the natural draft of chimneys to pull warm air out in winter and cool air out in summer.
- Close fireplace doors when not in use to reduce air infiltration and heat loss.