As the season is changing here in Western Massachusetts, many inefficiencies with your home’s heating and cooling systems that might normally go undetected are more obvious. Fixing them is more important than ever. They might be making your home uncomfortable and increasingly expensive to heat. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, reducing drafts in a home can result in energy savings that range from 5% to 30% per year.
Drafty windows can be a prominent source of air loss in the home from air leakage.
Replacing Drafty Windows
While air may be leaking from many places in your house, drafty windows are extremely problematic. Knowing when and how to replace them can be a difficult decision for many homeowners. Obviously, the permanent solution to drafts is to replace old, leaky windows with new, energy-efficient versions. Unfortunately, new windows can be a costly undertaking.
Replacing also doesn’t necessarily get to the root of the problem, which is more likely to be air leaking from around the window unit itself. It doesn't matter whether you choose to replace your windows with a $100 vinyl unit or a $750 triple-pane unit, the quality of the install can compromise the performance. There a several good reasons to replace windows such as to improve operability or for aesthetics on resale but energy savings is not usually one of them. Proper air sealing and insulation is almost always a far more effective and cost-appropriate solution to the issue.
Identifying All Air Leaks
Windows are one place we look for drafts and leaks. Some air leaks, however, are not as easy to identify. While old and warped windows can definitely be a part of the problem, doing a thorough inspection of all potential leaky spots will help make a significant difference.
Look for less noticeable air leaks in places like:
Weather stripping around doors
Door and window frames
Electrical and gas service entrances
Wall- or window-mounted air conditioners.
Cable TV and phone lines
Where dryer vents pass through walls
Vents and fans.
While windows may be responsible for some air leakage, a lot of air is leaking in and out of your home through your basement and attic.
Start By Air Sealing & Insulation
Air sealing is the best first step to take to stop drafts. Air sealing keeps warm air inside in the winter, and keeps the elements out. In the summer, it keeps cool, conditioned air inside to keep your space cool and dry. Combining air sealing with properly-installed insulation is the most cost-effective, long-term solution for any home. By making your current home more efficient with simple air sealing and insulation, you will create a more comfortable home and avoid the unnecessary costs of replacing your heating system or windows.
How to Get Started
Knowing whether to have your home air sealed, to have new insulation installed, or to seek replacements is a difficult decision. Our team will help you find the right solution. Contact Energia today to learn more & to stop drafts in your home.