Energy-efficient homes are more comfortable and have lower energy costs. People often think insulation is key when it comes to making your home more comfortable and efficient. Insulation is important, but by itself, it isn’t enough. The most important tip for a comfortable home is air sealing, and you can do it yourself in a weekend for less than $100.
What you need
- Caulk or a tub of duct mastic for small gaps. These work well because they will flex with the building material in hot and cold weather. Plus, mastic doesn’t require a clean surface to stick.
- Expandable foam sealant for larger gaps. Note that foam sealant must be applied to a clean surface and could leak through to the living space.
- Additional insulation.
Where to seal
Anywhere there is or could be a hole to the outside is a good place to seal, including:
- Electrical boxes
- Ceiling lights or fans
- Chimney chase ways
- Laundry chutes
- Sewer vents
- Bath ventilation
Get to work
In each area, move away the existing insulation and use your sealants to fill in the holes. Make time to do a thorough job, or you won’t see the benefits. Finish up by replacing the insulation you moved and adding even more if possible. A home that is poorly insulated and unsealed can cost 30% more to heat and cool compared to a home that is well sealed and insulated.