On a windy day (like today), check for air leaks and seal them up!
According to Aubrey Urbanowicz it is going to be a windy day today and Friday. This is a great chance to cut your energy bills. Walk around with your hand around window trim, electrical outlets, light switches, and doors and find the breeze coming in. Seal these gaps and cracks and you will not only make your home more efficient to heat and cool, you will make the rooms more comfortable.
You can see in this image huge air infiltration around a light switch. Take the cover off and caulk the plastic box tight to the drywall. There is also an thin insulation that fits over the switches behind the decorative plate that can be added to increase the insulation a little.
Recessed can lights are another place for huge leaks. Make sure the can is tight to the drywall. A careful thin bead of caulk around the edge might also help.
A lot of times windows are blamed for the big leaks. However, the window is probably ok, but the trim around the windows probably was not sealed.
Perhaps it does not seem like much to have light switches that leak air. However, if you add up all the leaks in your home from all the sources, it makes a big difference. We use too much energy and our bills are too high. The average house has the equivalent air leakage through gaps and cracks as a 3′ x 3′ hole in the all. You would not leave a window out of your house and expect to have a comfortable house, so why accept leaks through the gaps and cracks. Use this windy day to determine where the problems areas are in your home. Caulk and seal the gaps and make your home more comfortable.
If you want me to do an energy-audit, give me a call. I might find something like this image above and not know what in the world it is and I am certainly old enough to know I don’t want to go find out. This was in the ceiling of a home. I expect it is a nest for an animal since I did not see signs of water. What kind of animal – well, you will have to find that out for yourself.