Plumbing stacks may run inside the walls of your home, from the basement to the attic, with openings at each floor where the pipes branch off. Use the piping runs in the basement to help you locate holes. Plug the bottom and top of the chase with foam caulk or 6ml polyethylene.
To save on heating and cooling costs, close your curtains and shades at night; open them during the day.
Most experts agree that caulking and weather stripping any gaps will pay for itself within one year in energy savings. Caulking and weather stripping will also alleviate drafts and help your home feel warmer when it’s cold outside.
The lower the U-value, the better the insulation. In colder climates, a U-value of 0.35 or below is recommended. These windows have at least double glazing and low-e coating.
Depressurize your home to help detect leaks. On a cool, very windy day, turn off the furnace. Shut all windows and doors. Turn on all fans that blow air outside, such as bathroom fans or stove vents. Then light an incense stick and pass it around the edges of common leak sites. Wherever the smoke is sucked out of or blown into the room, there’s a draft.
Hot Water Savings
Water heating typically accounts for 14 percent of your utility bill. Repairing leaky faucets, insulating the water heater tank and hot water pipes, and installing low-flow faucets and shower heads can result in significant additional savings.
There’s more to soundproofing than just insulation. “Blocking” noise with a non-hardening caulk to close off airborne sound paths. “Breaking” the sound path using resilient wood studs with metal clips. Last, isolating and eliminating “vibration” with special acoustical matting that seperates the wall structure from floor vibrations. You can get all these items in soundproofing kits for both interior and exterior residential walls. Besides blocking most noise transmission, one obvious benefit is better energy efficiency, with greater “r” values.
Weatherize Your Home
By simply caulking, sealing, and weatherstripping around all your windows, outside doors, or where plumbing, ducting, and electrical wiring penetrate exterior walls, floors or ceilings, you can save 10 to 25 percent of your heating bill.
Attic work is hot and tiring. Work in the morning before it gets hot and keep lots of cool liquids handy to avoid over heating.
Look for dirty spots in your insulation, which often indicate holes where air leaks into and out of your house. You can seal the holes by stapling sheets of plastic over the holes and caulking the edges of the plastic.