Air-tightening your home can provide you with a psychological benefit because it can eliminate the smaller, and maybe even some larger, creature comfort concerns that nag you year after year. Air tightening involves the proper, long-term plugging of all the heat loss areas in your home.
Although these improvements may not sound too thrilling, bottom-line, they sure will be worth your time, focus and money!
Green Blizzard organized its suggested list of improvements in order of ascending cost from around $20 to $10,000, with the associated return-on-investment in parentheses. The return on investment (ROI) is the percentage of the upfront cost that is returned to you annually through the annual energy savings.
These estimates are on the conservative side. Bear in mind, that energy costs seem to be always trending upward and are likely to continue to do so in the future, which will make these numbers even better. The return is also dependent on how big of an issue you’re addressing.
If the crack being caulked is hairline, then not much heat is being lost, but if its a ⅛ or ¼ in width, then that’s a different story.
• Caulking around window frames (5%)
• Installing weather-stripping on door frames (10%)
• Air duct sealing (8%)
• Plugging holes on the attic floor with rigid insulation (20%)
• Upgrading to LED lighting (35%)
• Blowing loose fill insulation into the attic (8%)
• Spray-foaming seams, cracks, and holes on the attic floor (10%)
• Attaching rigid insulation to attic vertical walls and skylights (12%)
• Attaching batt insulation to the walls (5%)
• Upgrading to an efficient water heater (10%-20%)
• Upgrading to an efficient heating or cooling system (5%-30%)
The way to find out which improvements are appropriate for your home or business is to have an energy audit conducted by a certified energy auditor. Many jurisdictions require auditors to take an extensive course and pass a standard test to ensure that a competent, qualified person is evaluating your situation.
Most of these returns are better than you can realize from financial investments.
A 35% ROI for LED lighting or even 20% for plugging holes on the attic floor with rigid insulation, should grab anyone’s attention, at least until the situation is addressed
It’s clear that air-tightening your home is an often overlooked gold mine of savings, along with a more comfortable living environment and lower energy bills.
Green Blizzard editor’s recommendations:Gift Ideas For A Green Handyman, What is Phantom Electricity?.