How to Winterize Your Home
This November 2019, the Midwest experienced some of the coldest weather in the history of Chicagoland for the month, which should still be quite mild. With global warming a reality and ice melting at the caps, extreme weather will become more and more common. Here in Illinois we need to be prepared. The arctic blast in November sent temperatures down to around 12 degrees, a stark wake-up call for all residents to pull out those heavy winter jackets, hats, gloves, and scarves. But how do you winterize our home?
With more drops in temperature still on the way, your home will require some help to remain at optimal temperatures. Winterizing your home is a must in this cold climate, as it will help keep your family comfortable, lower your monthly heating costs, improve energy efficiency, and fight the one-two punch of artic blasts more effectively!
Green Attic Thermal Imaging and Blower Door Test
When Green Attic completes an insulation project in the attic, basement or conditioned space, we regularly perform thermal imaging in conjunction with a blower door test to determine the effectiveness of the building envelope (the physical separator between the conditioned and unconditioned environment of a building). This is the best time to determine areas with the most leakage (think windows, exterior doors, and outlets on outside walls). We can use these to determine cold spots and the outline of the air paths. Water traps can also be filled with corn oil so they don’t condensate, leak or create foul odors.
You can do determine this leakage in a similarly effective way yourself!
If you have the option of renting or borrowing a thermal imager, you will increase your chances of diagnosing the cold air intrusion. You may also purchase a standard laser thermometer for around $30, which is well worth the investment in reducing your heating bills this winter. To begin, turn on your negative pressure mechanicals such as bath fans, and also open your fireplace flue and turn on the dryer. These will create negative pressure and suck air out of the home by pulling it through the gaps, cracks, and seams around the building envelope.
With these mechanicals running, go around with your thermal imager or laser thermometer. Feel the seams of the exterior building envelope for breaks such as seams of windows, exterior doors, electrical outlets, patio sliding door seams, etc. You may be surprised by how much cold air you can feel coming into the house from these locations.
Once problem locations have been targeted, you will want to seal them. This can be accomplished by caulking, fireblocking, temporary clear window film kits, exterior door weather stripping, and more.
Learn more about our energy assessment by visiting us here: www.greeninsulationservices.com/energy-assessment.