Get an Audit...the Good Kind
So what can you do to weatherize? For starters, consider a whole-house approach.
When you weatherize a home, you are equipping it with everything it needs to be more energy efficient. Focusing on just windows will not solve the problem. Instead, most heat loss in a building goes through the roof and other gaps in the walls and foundation. Identify these problem areas by conducting an energy audit. Local utilities and state energy agencies now frequently offer audits – for free or at minimal cost – to help homeowners target leaks and identify cost-effective options for sealing them. If the primary source of heat loss is air leaking through an attic hatch or a poorly-fitted fireplace damper, replacing your windows is not going to help and could actually cost you thousands more.
Weatherizing a home does not have to cost a lot of money to be effective. There are plenty of low-cost projects that can be done to save energy, including:Sealing cracks, holes, and gaps, especially around windows, doors, and other areas with high potential for heat loss.
- Checking for proper ventilation to unconditioned spaces to protect from the effects of condensation.
- Repairing older windows and doors with new glazing, including installing storm windows where appropriate.
- Ensuring water is properly draining away from a building through gutters and downspouts, combined with foundation waterproofing and drains.
- Installing insulation, where appropriate, around ducts, pipes, and water heaters, as well as near the foundation and sill.
- Maintaining water-tight roofing and siding.
Conversations with an Energy Auditor:
A thorough energy audit is step one in achieving better energy efficiency at home. Haven't ever put your house to the test? Not sure what exactly to expect? Get the low-down from the people who know best – home energy auditors themselves!
- David W. Malone:1st Choice Energy
- Amanda Evans: Advanced Home Analysts
- Tom Schlotter: Allied Home Inspections
- Kris Simonich: Pro Energy Consultants
- Jason Acosta: EnergyLogic
- John Porterfield: eZing, Inc.