OK, I’m stating the obvious. When it gets cold out, you want to close your windows to help keep the heat in. What many people don’t realize is that air leakage throughout their home can add up to the equivalent of having a window wide open all winter long.
Sometimes the holes are big as in the case of this wide open chase. But all of the little holes add up, too. One hole for an electrical wire in your attic isn’t much. But you might have dozens of these. Add to them gaps at interior partition walls, around chimneys, flues, recessed lights, and other locations where somebody has left a hole open, and the typical home has an enormous number of ways for air to leak out. As show in this simple example from one of the GreenHomes Syracuse crews, we can seal these leaks and help keep the heat in.
Air-sealing helps you close that hidden “window” and can make a huge difference in your comfort and utility bills. And it’s very important to air-seal BEFORE you add additional insulation—insulation doesn’t work well if you allow air to air to move through it.
P.S. Important Note: After insulating and air-sealing, it is very important to make sure that your combustion equipment—furnaces, boilers, water heaters, etc.—are operating safely and venting properly. Most homeowner don’t have the equipment or skills to do this, so I won’t describe it here. Your fuel company, a home performance specialist, or a good heating contractor should be able to do this for you. As I’ve mentioned previously, carbon monoxide is not something to take lightly.