by Glennis Drew
The Bridge asked Paul Zabriskie at Capstone for his recommendation as to how to spend the first dollar you have toward making your home warmer this winter.
Zabriskie’s immediate suggestion was, “air sealing. “Stop the leaks. The river of warm air leaving the building is the driver of high energy bills in most Vermont homes. That river of heat flows faster as the weather gets colder. The higher or lower a leak in the home is (i.e., the basement or attic), the more heat will flow out of the hole and the more cold air will be drawn in to replace it, due to the pressure difference. Places to look for leaks include:
Here’s How to Stop Leaks:
- Apply weather stripping around the attic hatch;
- Install insulation inside electrical outlets (hardware stores have inexpensive kits for this);
- Patch cracks in knee walls or around basement windows (glass doesn’t leak and has an R value of 1; which is better than an R value of “none” that applies to any hole in the window casing)
The third floor (attic) should be inspected for air leaks before the first floor to get the most return for your dollars spent. Even though you don’t feel the leak going out of the attic, when the warm air leaks from the top, then cold air comes in on the lower floors and soon your feet are freezing.