While most people only think of their home energy costs while they are trying to stay warm in the winter, the fact is many people lose large amounts of money during the summer months while running their air conditioners to beat the high temperatures.
In fact, taking steps to make an air conditioning system much more efficient can help a household save as much as 50 percent on its total energy costs over the summer months.
Charlotte, NC weather-stripping-1While there are many steps that can be taken to lower energy costs, one of the easiest and least expensive ways is by weather stripping doors and windows. By making sure all of these areas are properly sealed, it’s a virtual guarantee a home’s energy costs will be considerably lower.
Why Do Weather Stripping?
While many people fail to realize the importance of this area of home maintenance, the fact is it remains one of the best ways to keep a home’s air conditioning costs as low as possible. While air escaping underneath a door or around a window is always more evident in the winter months, it can be just as costly when the weather is warm.
Essentially, all windows and doors are large holes in a person’s home, and are prime places for air to escape. To test this, many home improvement experts test the area between the frame of the house and the frame of the window. If it feels cold, that means large amounts of air are escaping due to that area not being properly insulated.
However, by insulating this area, it will be possible to plug the holes where air is escaping and thus lower the overall air conditioning costs. Another thing this home improvement task does is help a home have proper ventilation.
In most homes, over 30 percent of air leakage comes from exterior windows and doors. In addition, sliding glass doors can also be a prime source of air leakage. While other doors are generally looked at ahead of sliding glass doors, the truth is these doors are essentially very large holes that are opened and closed on a regular basis, each time letting air escape. By making these doors a priority, energy savings can increase by as much as 20 percent alone.
What Areas Should be Weather Stripped?
While virtually any door in a home should have adequate weather stripping, there are certain areas that are more prone to air leakages that could result in higher air conditioning costs. Some of the most common places include doors leading to attics, garages, and basements, which tend to be areas that have little if any insulation. In areas such as these, vinyl is often the material of choice to make sure the space is sealed well enough to prevent any further leaks.
Is This Maintenance Task Expensive?
As mentioned earlier, this is one home maintenance task that is not at all expensive. In large part, this is due to the use of materials that are very inexpensive themselves, such as sponge, foam, felt, and aluminum. In addition to being cost-effective, they are very reliable and durable, meaning once the task is completed it will remain effective for many years. According to most home repair specialists, if done properly a home should be airtight for decades.
Charlotte, NC weather-stripping-2Keep Cool and Save Money
When it comes to keeping a home cool during the summer months, making sure any holes or other gaps are sealed can make all the difference. In areas that were weather stripped previously, it’s important to look for signs of dry rot. If an area appears to be cracking or peeling, chances are dry rot is taking place and the materials will need to be replaced.
Unfortunately, by the time these signs are evident, it’s a good bet a home has been losing air for quite a long time. Along with looking for signs of dry rot, a person should also look for signs of any light shining around the areas of a home that have been sealed.
If any light shines through, a home repair specialist will need to be called to make the necessary repairs and ensure no gaps remain.
Should You Call a Professional?
If your home is losing air during the summer months, you are paying far more for air conditioning than is needed. If this is the case, you need to contact a professional who is skilled in home insulation and can make the repairs needed to help keep your cooling bills as low as possible.
If you believe your air conditioning bills should be lower, don’t hesitate to contact a professional at once. If you are in need of great service in your Durham, NC home, please contact Green Horizon at (919) 323-8705.