Since I wrote about my drafty home in last month’s post, I’ve gotten a few requests to talk about the measures I’m taking to improve energy efﬁciency! You may recall that our energy consultant was unable to establish a pressure differential in our house such that an effective measurement of air ﬂow could be taken. What I didn’t mention is that while the consultant was performing her blower door test, we walked around the house and felt wind (yes, wind) coming through just about every little hole and ﬁssure in the house. Not surprisingly, it was recommended that we seal just about every little hole and ﬁssure in hopes that less energy would, literally, get thrown out the window. These include:
- Gaps between window frames and window units.
- Holes in the mortar joints in our ﬁ replace(s).
- Gaps between electrical junction boxes and drywall.
- Gaps between plumbing piping and drywall and/or gaps between plumbing piping and the ﬂoor.
Lack of proper weatherstripping was a key factor in the blower door test failure; many of the double hung windows have large gaps between the upper and lower sashes and the wood has shrunken to such a degree that the sashes just aren’t tight ﬁts. A great resource for retroﬁt weatherstripping can found be found by going to page 70 in this PDF.
Additionally, because one can see daylight through some of the cracks in our wood ﬂoors, it was recommended that we insulate either by way of spray foam between ﬂoor joists or by securing rigid insulation, continuously, across the bottom of all the ﬂoor joists (the latter accouting for thermal breaks and ease of installation).
Needless to say, I’ve been doing lots of climbing on ladders and lots of poking and prodding. Turns out, there is an art to installing spray foam sealant and a variety of brands and types with which to experiment (some expanding far more than others). That said, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that there is another art to energy savings: Spend less on cooling your home by not setting the thermostat so low!
My personal preference is DAPTex.