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Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement
Homeowners everywhere are trying to discover ways to lower their
monthly energy bills. Families usually resort to making sure lights
and appliances are turned off when they are not being used, and that
the thermostat is not being abused. What they don't know is that an
estimated 60% of energy is used by heating and cooling.
By investing in weather-stripping, you will save the amount of money
needed to pay for the cost of installation and continue to save
afterwards. Also, weather-stripping will bring a greater sense of
comfort to your home by trapping heat in the winter and cold air in
Air leakage is one of the top reasons for energy waste. Areas that
require major weather stripping attention include all operable
windows and doors, even doors leading to attics basements, and
garages. Before you decide to weatherize these areas, certain
elements must be carefully examined.
Weather stripping will not be as effective until you control all of
your homes air leaks. Many of these leaks exist within the attic.
However, an air leak can exist in any opening between your walls and
floors. A professional insulation contractor can assist you in
locating some of these hard to find air leaks.
Ventilation is another important factor to consider before weather
stripping. Ventilation is essential because it relates to moisture
control and indoor air pollution. Keep these aspects in mind before
you begin to weatherize.
Once you have successfully located all of the areas in which you
want to weatherize, you must then decide what kind of weather
stripping to buy. Weather stripping is a resilient insulating strip
of material placed around the joints of doors and windows to reduce
air infiltration into the home. Generally, these strips are made
from vinyl, metal, rubber, felt or foam. Each material varies in
durability and cost.
Foam and felt strips are typically the least expensive.
Unfortunately, they are not very durable either. Felt has a life
expectancy of only 1 to 2 years. You should refrain from using these
materials in areas that receive a lot of friction and exposure to
weather. They are not moisture resistant materials.
Vinyl and metal are both durable materials that can handle heavy
friction and abrasion. Vinyl tends to be more expensive than metal,
foam and felt. It is also moisture resistant and easier to install.
Metal, on the other hand, is both low in cost and extremely durable.