When it comes down to it, a bigger air conditioner isn’t necessarily better when you are trying to cool down your home. In fact, a bigger air conditioner may actually cause more harm than good – it could cause excess condensation and your cooling costs may go through the roof. If you are trying to cool down your home while at the same saving money, your money should be invested in sealing and insulation. Properly weatherproofing your home can provide the barrier you need – so that air doesn’t escape and the temperatures stay constant throughout your home. Here are some home sealing and insulation basics to cut cooling costs.
- Find air leaks first. Your first step in sealing and insulating your home is to find all the air leaks. Ideally, you want to use tape as a marker once you find them. You can often use your hand to feel for drafts and sources of air. Once you find a leak or draft, you can use a caulking gun to seal them. In other areas, like your foundation, you may want to use epoxy resin.
- Insulate your attic. After you identify and seal all the leaks, you want to put some effort into properly insulating your attic. If you really want to cut cooling costs – and heating costs for that matter – you want to cut off your attic as a source of energy leakage. If your attic is not insulated, the air will simply escape through the roof or the vents. If the attic is insulated, the air will rise and then fall back down again, thus offering much more coverage. When it comes down to it, insulating is easy and you don’t need that many tools – just some panels of insulation and some protective gear.
- Check the insulation behind outlets. Another big source of energy leakage is in the outlets. Your outlets can often have a direct leak. In order to discover these hidden leaks, you want to open your outlets. If you see that there isn’t any insulation behind a certain outlet, you want to line the inside with insulation. When it comes down to it, foam insulation often works the best because there is no major installation required.
- Add UV protectant windows. There is a good chance that if you have an older home, you probably still have thin, single paned window glass. If this is the case, you may want to think of switching out the single paned glass for insulated double paned glass. When it comes to properly insulating your home, your windows can either be an ally or a foe. This is especially the case if you have large windows on the sunny side of your home.
- Weather strip doors. It is also important to weather strip all the doors in your home. Doors often have a few centimeters of space under them, which can be a blatant source of energy leakage. You can usually find weather strips at your local hardware store. Installing them is as easy as hammering them in with nails. In the end, weather stripping will not only better insulate your home; it will also prevent moisture leaks as well.