Hidden Energy Thieves Around Your Home

Weather extremes cause energy bills to go up in summer and winter. This is when you want your home to be the most efficient when heating and cooling it. There are a number of little ways that your home is wasting energy and fixing them can help reduce your bill. Here are some of the common energy thieves you will find around your home.

Window and Door Frames

When construction crews set door and window frames into a new home, then know they don't have to be very precise. The wood molding around the windows and doors will hide large gaps that can let cold air in and warm air out. Filling these gaps will prevent drafts and wasted energy.

  1. Pry off the molding around the inside of the door or window frame.
  2. Use closed-foam insulation or the expanding spray insulation to fill the gaps.
  3. Reattach the molding.

Double Hung Windows

These are two windows set in one frame that allow you to slide one window up to get fresh air into the house. As a home ages, these windows can become loose in the frame and create a space between them where the top and bottom edges meet. Place a piece of window weather stripping across the top of the lower window where it passes the upper window to close that gap. Also place weather stripping on the upper edge of the top window and the bottom edge of the lower window to seal them against the window frame.

Cracked Windows

Thermal windows are made with at least two sheets of glass separated by a small space. In this space is a gas such as argon, krypton or xenon, which prevents heat transfer between the glass sheets. This makes the window an effective insulator for your home. Should the glass crack and let the gas out, you've lost the major advantage of a thermal window. A window company can attempt a glass repair, but if the gas has leaked out, glass replacement is the only solution to restore the energy efficiency of your window. 

Electrical Switches and Outlets

Switches and electrical outlets can leak air around them through the walls. This is especially true if they are located on exterior walls.

  1. Turn the furnace or air conditioning off and make sure no fans are running in the house
  2. Light a stick of incense and walk around the house holding the burning incense in front all of the light switches and electrical outlets you can find.
  3. When the smoke from the incense moves toward or away from the switch or outlet, mark it with a piece of masking tape to come back to later.
  4. Take a roll of closed-foam insulation around to each switch and outlet you marked and pack insulation around the junction boxes.