How To Save Energy by Improving Your Homes Exteriors

When the weather is warm we spend time in our yards mowing the lawns, trimming the
bushes, planting flowers. We all have a desire to want the exterior of our homes look
nice. While this is a worthy cause, are we putting as much diligence into making the
exterior of our homes cost efficient? We work hard to keep a roof over our heads so why
throw money away by allowing heat to escape?

The majority of the home’s heat escapes through drafts. Filling these drafts will save on
the heating bill over time. Do a walkthrough around the exterior of you home to find out
what needs to be improved. First you should inspect all the areas where two different
building materials meet like where the siding meets the chimney and where the
foundation meets the exterior brick or siding. Inspect all exterior corners as well. You
will need to fill any cracks or holes in the mortar, the foundation or the siding. Make sure
to fill them with the appropriate material. If you are going to do a job, do it right. Plus, it
will last longer if it is done the right way with the right material. You will also need to
inspect where faucets or pipes extend from the exterior. Make sure there are no holes
around them as well. In your exterior inspection, do not leave out the windows and
doors. Make sure that they are all properly caulked and that windows and doors seal
tightly. Some people have air conditioners mounted directly into the wall rather then in a
window during the summer months. While this may save on time of installing and
un-installing the air conditioner every year, it is also a great way to let in drafts during the
winter months. Make sure that the area around the air conditioner is properly sealed. If
you don’t have one already, invest in a cover that can be placed over the unit in the
winter. This will stop the unwanted cold air from getting inside your home.

Also, make sure that your home is properly insulated. This will save you a ton of money.
Specifically check the attic. Make sure that there is a vapor barrier under the attic
insulation. Water vapor can pass through the ceiling. With large amounts of moisture,
the effectiveness of your insulation goes down and could cause structural damage. In
order to prevent this, you should have a vapor barrier which could be tarpaper, Kraft
paper attached to fiberglass batts, a plastic sheet or vapor barrier paint. Also make sure
that any gaps in around the pipes, ductwork or chimney is properly sealed.

If you have the funds, you might want to consider replacing old doors or windows with
new energy efficient ones. While this is an improvement that will dip into your pocket, it
will also save you money on heating. With the price of home heating, making sure that
the exterior of your home is properly sealed is almost a necessity.