With fall here, cold weather is just around the corner. You wouldn’t leave your window open all day but some installations in your home leave the equivalent. Here are some areas that might be causing drafts in your home, and how to fix them so you can save money.
When attic stairs are installed, a large hole (approximately 10 square feet) is created in your ceiling. The ceiling and insulation that were there have to be removed, leaving only a thin, unsealed, sheet of plywood.
A solution to this problem is to add an insulated attic stair cover that seals the stairs and stops drafts and energy loss. Add the desired amount of insulation over the cover to restore the insulation removed from the ceiling.
Whole-house fans and air-conditioning vents
When whole-house fans are installed, a large hole (up to 16 square feet or larger) is created in your ceiling. The ceiling and insulation that were there have to be removed, leaving only the drafty ceiling shutter between you and the outdoors.
A solution to this problem is to add a whole house fan shutter seal. Made from white textured flexible insulation, you install the seal over the ceiling shutter, secure it with Velcro, and trim it to fit.
It’s ironic that while fireplaces are intended to heat up a house, they can create some seriously cold drafts.
A simple way to avoid this problem is to add a plug to your fireplace. A fireplace plug is an inflatable pillow that seals the fireplace damper, eliminating drafts, odors, and noise. The pillow is removed whenever the fireplace is used, then reinserted after.
Clothes dryer exhaust ducts
In many homes, the room with the clothes dryer is the coldest room in the house. In the winter, cold drafts come in through the duct, through your dryer and into your house. Many dryer vents use a sheet-metal flapper to try to reduce these drafts.
A solution to this problem is to add a dryer vent seal. This will reduce unwanted drafts, and also keeps out pests, bees and rodents. The vent will remain closed unless the dryer is in use.
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