Draft Proof Your Newly Purchased Home and Reduce Your Energy Costs

With the fall weather approaching you might start to find that your newly purchased, cozy, older home, isn’t so comfy after all. Cold air seeping in through windowsills, doors and walls can create uncomfortable living conditions, and it could be costing you every month in additional, yet unnecessary, heating expenses.

There is a simple and cost effective solution to reducing this problem; it is called draft proofing.

The first step to draft proofing is finding out where the cold air is coming from. One handy trick is to use a smoking incense stick. Hold the smoking incense stick close to the potential problem areas, such as plug outlets, windows and doors, and see if air blows the smoke into the house from outside.

Once you have sourced all of the air leakages, remove any old caulking and weather-stripping that may be located around your house, and purchase fresh products from any hardware store.

If you are installing the products yourself, it is important that you purchase items that you feel comfortable working with. Basic weather-stripping, self-stick foam, roller rubber, and caulking are the most common, easiest to use, and least expensive draft proofing products. If necessary, and if your budget allows, you may also consider purchasing fitted storm windows or window films, interior window covering, door sweeps, and draft proofing gaskets. Visit the Buyer’s Guide for information on selecting the appropriate products.

The most common areas that need draft proofing in older homes are around windows and doors, window air conditioners, chimneys, openings where piping, electrical and telephone lines enter the building, and where walls meet the foundation.

Once you have taken the appropriate steps to draft proof your home, you will find that your heating bills are reduced, and your overall comfort level has increased. If you are not interested in simply draft proofing and you are looking for a more comprehensive home energy makeover, consider hiring an official auditor to do an energy audit. You can also take advantage of provincial and federal incentives. Visit http://www.livesmartbc.ca/ for more information.

For more information on BC Hydro Power Smart residential programs such as the Fridge Buy-Back program, discounts on ENERGY STAR® light fixtures, LEDs, CFLs and Power Smart New Homes visit www.bchydro.com/powersmart.

By Kari Kylo, BC Hydro Power Smart

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