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Weatherization Tips That Can Protect Your West Texas Home From Wasted Energy

If you haven't weatherized your home, you're wasting money. Weatherization is a big topic that requires careful attention, indoors and out. Some weatherization efforts are to keep out drafts, while others will pay off by preventing solar gain in the summer. Others will help keep conditioned air inside the home no matter the season, where it can do the most good.

Read on for a comprehensive guide for improving your home's energy efficiency through weatherization, all year long.

Start your weatherization project with the places where conditioned air gets out and outside air gets in. Locate and evaluate any opening to your home for air leaks, but particularly around doors and windows. Over time, leaks develop in caulking around doors and windows as homes settle, boards shrink and contract, and old sealant ages and cracks.

Doors

  • Add weatherstripping inside the door jamb.
  • If your exterior doors have windows, apply caulk or glazing around the edge of the windowpane. (Hint: If your hands aren't steady with the caulk gun or tube, use clear caulk. It's more forgiving when you make a mistake.)
  • Caulk around the outside edge of the casing.
  • Install a vinyl or rubber door sweep along the bottom of the door to prevent drafts. If you already have one, check to see if it's properly covering the gap. Often doors will move as the house shifts, and sometimes the threshold sweep must be adjusted accordingly.
  • Make sure the thresholds under exterior doors are properly installed. Adjustable models are easier to fit..

Windows

  • Caulk around all window casings.
  • Glaze around the edges of window panes. Be sure to clean the glass and scrape off old glaze, then allow glass to dry before glazing. Press and smooth glazing, using a putty knife.
  • If you don't have storm windows, apply window film to either the interior or exterior or the glass, sealing edges with window film mounting tape, then dry with a hair dryer to make it shrink.
  • With double-hung windows, open the bottom sash, install foam weatherstripping to tracks and the bottom of sash. Close the window, then seal moving parts with rope caulk. (Rope caulk can be removed at the end of the season.)
  • It's elementary, but don't forget to close windows and drapes to keep cold out and warm air in, but open them on sunny days for passive solar heating. Likewise, in summer, close drapes to keep sunlight out.
  • Remember basement windows. Cover them with plastic film, but don't seal windows shut. Use rope caulk around edges and remove it when you want to open the window.

Miscellaneous

Take a tour around your home and look for such potential trouble spots as these.

  • Wood fireplaces are a major source of drafts. Use tight-fitting glass doors to keep out cold air and close the damper when the fireplace isn't in use. If you don't use the fireplace, plug the chimney with insulation, then seal doors with silicone caulk.
  • Attic openings are another problem spot where your conditioned air can leak out. Insulate the attic door with hatch-type access; apply foam weatherstripping around the opening edges.
  • Exterior wall electrical outlets are notorious for letting in cold drafts. Remove the cover of the outlet and install a foam gasket. You can also add foam insulation into the cavity to fill up large crevices.
  • Insulate around any other openings to exterior walls, including holes where cables, wires or pipes run through the wall.
  • Use fire-resistant materials like sheet metal,sheet rock, furnace cement caulk to seal leaks around furnaces, gas-fired water heater vents and fireplace chimneys.
  • Dirty spots on insulation may be a sign of air leaks and mold. Apply low-expansion spray foam to leaks.

Your Home's Exterior

It doesn't occur to some homeowners to weatherize the exterior of the home. Include exterior walls in your inspection for places where cold air infiltration or heat loss may occur. 

  • Seal the outer edges of doors and windows with caulk.
  • Seal openings around electrical outlets, spigots, dryer vents, air conditioner hoses and water and gas pipes with caulk.
  • Squirt a small amount of expanding foam to seal cracks or holes. Don't use too much, as it can damage material around the hole.
  • Inspect where brick and wood siding meet, or other places where different materials meet, such as foundation and walls, or between siding and chimney.

Learn more about weatherization from the pros at Texas Air Comfort or contact us today at 866-984-8552 to find a West Texas contractor near you.

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