Air that leaks into and out of homes through cracks, crevices and holes can increase unnecessary energy consumption. Sealing air leaks in your home can produce significant savings, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Here are a few improvements and tips that can help make your home more energy efficient.
Adjust door thresholds. If you can see daylight under your front door, then you’re losing the indoor air you’ve paid to heat. Some thresholds have four or five screws that let you adjust the height to eliminate the gap. Turn the screws counterclockwise to lift the threshold until daylight is mostly no longer visible. You also can add an inexpensive door sweep to the bottom of the door to prevent air leakage.
Seal around exterior electrical boxes and pipes coming through walls. Exterior pipes and electrical outlets are notoriously drafty because insulation is not placed behind and around them. For small gaps, use caulk. For large gaps, use foam sealant.
Close the fireplace flue. When your fireplace is not operating, its damper should be closed tightly, with a sign hanging from the damper handle warning that it is closed.
Ensure that doors and windows are closed tightly and locked. Even when doors and windows are closed, they might not be pressed tight against the weatherstripping if they’re not locked, which allows cold outside air to infiltrate your home. Be sure weatherstripping around doors and windows is tight and doesn’t have any cracks or deterioration.
Insulate the attic access door. Even in well-insulated attics, the access door may not be properly insulated, letting air escape through the attic hatch. To ensure that the door blocks airflow, use adhesive to attach fiberglass batt insulation to the attic side of the door. And if the door won’t lie flat, use a latch bolt system to close it tight.
Make sure your dryer vent is functioning properly, and ensure the outside dryer vent door closes when the dryer is not in use. This requires cleaning away lint accumulation periodically.