Increasing Energy Efficiency in Your Home

Article Posted By: Home Depot Staff

Many homes, regardless of their age, have cracks or openings around doors and windows. These gaps are a huge source of heat loss in winter and could be the culprit of nearly one-third of your energy bill. This video will show you how to help increase energy efficiency in your home.

To get started, apply caulk in any cracks or gaps you see around doors and windows.  These are the primary sources for wasted energy around most homes.  There are three basic types of caulk: latex, silicone, and polyurethane.

Latex is a cost-efficient solution that can be used on several surfaces and can be painted. Silicone is a durable and flexible option that has great adhesion and provides and excellent seal. Polyurethane caulk has great adhesion and is durable, but can be tougher to work with.

Next, apply weather stripping around doors and windows in their openings. There are several different types, and each will help eliminate lost heat and expensive drafts.

Adhesive-backed foam tape can be used to seal the inside of door frames and window sashes. Just cut the desired length, peel the backing and stick.

A v-strip is a plastic or metal strip that springs open to bridge gaps. It can be cut to length and then stuck or nailed along the sides of sliding or double-hung windows.

Next up is insulation. You will want to make sure that your home has enough insulation to help keep your utility costs down.  It is important that your insulation meet the R-value for your region. The R-value is an indicator of how well insulation will resist heat transfer. This will be different based on the type, density, and thickness for insulation types.

An attic is the most effective place to make a difference with insulation. No matter what region you are in, attic insulation should have an R-value between R-30 and R-60. To determine the level in your attic, check the R-value listed on the paper moisture barrier backing of your insulation, or measure how deep it is. For rolled fiberglass insulation you want at least 11 inches. If your joists are exposed, you should add a layer of unfaced insulation.

Make sure that your exposed pipes are insulated. Water vapor can accumulate on pipes and contribute to corrosion and potentially frozen pipes in winter. There is specific tubular insulation for this project and it will help reduce heat loss, keeping water temperatures a few degrees warmer.

Last, but not least, for each spigot you have outside of your home, get an inexpensive cover to help keep them from freezing.

Check out more DIY and home improvement videos here on the Home Depot blog and on The Home Depot’s YouTube channel.

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