Don’t spend money on unnecessarily high energy bills. Make sure your new home is properly sealed and insulated is very important, not only for your wallet but for your health as well.
There are a few ways to figure out if your home needs proper air sealing and insulation: high energy bills, drafty rooms, erratic temperatures, or agents like dust, mold and mildew.
Abnormally high energy bills could be the first sign that your home isn't properly sealed, even after you've carefully closed all the windows and turned off all the lights you don't need. Even drafty rooms can be a sign of a gap or crack letting warm air escape and cold air flow in or vice-versa. Dust, mold and mildew can appear from improper seals that control moisture and air flow. So, what do you do about it?
Find the Problem
First, find the root of the problem. Some air leaks are easy to find, like those around doors or windows; others are a little harder to find, like leaks around pipes or electrical outlets.
A professional team can come in, do a home energy audit and can tell you exactly what's wrong and how to fix it. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, find the problem yourself and fix it by replacing the seals in your air ducts, doors or electrical outlets. After all the air leaks have been properly fixed, determine if you need insulation. Floors above crawl spaces, garages or basements could need insulation to help warm the floors. This problem could persist if the heating system doesn’t allow enough heat to travel to the different rooms in the house. It could be the result of leaks, a malfunctioning system or ducts that aren't the right size for the heating system.
Find the Right Product
It is important to find the right products for your household. It might require a bit of research. There are many different types of seals available like felt, open-cell foams, vinyl, silicone and metal. Each one of these has its own characteristics. Felt and open-cell foams are pretty cheap, but they're visible and ineffective at blocking air flow. However they can be placed in areas that are not used as often or visible to the naked eye. Vinyl is a little more expensive, but lasts longer and blocks moisture. Metals last even longer and are much more economical. Caulk is another effective way to seal air leaks and can be used on other household appliances around the house. Silicone material is easier to mold into the perfect sealant because of its ability to match the compressions of the plastic or metals it's sealing.
Sealing and insulating your house is a project that should be done effectively and with the right products to save money and make sure that you are comfortable in your home.