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Consume Less Energy by making your House Airtight

Written on June 22, 2008 – 7:39 pm | by Rick

For home energy-saving tips, do you know that it’s not only your ceiling or the roof itself that you are going to worry about for leaks? Or let me rephrase that: Do you know that it’s not only ceilings and roofs that leak? Well, for your information, the whole house can actually leak, that is, air-leak, and this could be costly on your part. How?

Well, your house has an air cooling-heating system, right? You carefully insulate the walls of your house, the floors as well, the attic… practically the whole house itself just to prevent heat/cold from deeply penetrating the house as well as from quickly escaping from it, right? What if there exist in the various parts of your house cracks, seams, fissures and other sort of openings that go unnoticed all these time? Such case would be like turning the air conditioner at full blast while leaving the windows wide open. The warm air of the summer break or the chilly air of the winter season will find their way to any openings in the house.

To help you consume less energy (and eventually pay less on your electricity bill) even if you are going to use your air conditioner for long hours, try to follow the following tips to prevent and manage air leakage in your house:

• Conduct a simple airtight test.

Buy some incense sticks and incense holders. Let them stand in the parts of your house where air would probably enter and escape like the door and window areas and the ceiling and plumbing fixtures. When it starts to become windy, lit the incense sticks. Ask other family members to help you on this task since you cannot possibly be at different places at one time. Once the incense sticks start to burn, observe closely where its smoke will be directed. If the smoke goes on a horizontal direction, then your house has a “leak”.

• Apply sealants to all spotted “leaks” to ultimately prevent infiltration.

Weather-strip and caulk all cracks, gaps seams and other openings including other areas where electrical wiring as well as the plumbing makes a way into the house’s ceilings, floors and exterior walls since they can also serve as pathways for air. For further assurance, mount gaskets or rubber seals even on switch plates and electrical outlets found on the exterior walls.

• Inspect the insulation for any existing holes.

Thoroughly check the insulation’s condition. It if has become soiled and accumulated dirty spots, chances are, there are holes underneath where air passes through—in and out—of your house. That’s a clear indication of energy wastage. The immediate solution is to place plastic sheets over the holes; staple those together with the insulation then apply sealant on the plastic’s edges.

• When not in use, securely close your fireplace’s flue damper.
The chimney is a major air path. The warm air inside your house during winter can easily and quickly escape through it, so make it sure that the chimney damper is tightly closed.


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