Infiltration area is probably bigger than you think
At a casual glance, many infiltration points seem innocuous. For example, let’s take a typical 36-inch wide entrance door that is a standard 6?-8? high. The perimeter of such a door is 232 inches. If there were a 1/16-inch gap all the way around that door, that is 14.5 square inches of opening, or the same as a hole through the wall the size of a 3?x5? index card. I have no doubt you wouldnít tolerate a hole of those dimensions, but that’s what you’re doing when you don’t install and maintain weather stripping around doors and windows.
Infiltration areas are not always obvious
Also mostly overlooked is infiltration around and through electrical outlet and switch boxes. There are inexpensive foam seals designed to be installed behind the cover plates on these boxes that are very effective.
Windows are probably the most significant contributor to loss of energy efficiency in any home, even when they are properly installed and weather tight. That is because glass by itself is an efficient conductor of thermal energy and windows do hardly anything to stop radiant energy. If your windows are single glazed, that is they have only a single layer of glass, or if sashes are sloppy and loose in their channels, it is well past time time to consider replacement windows.
Replacing windows is another situation where you need to carefully vet any company before selecting a contractor you are considering hiring. Many window manufacturers have training and certification programs for contractors to become qualified to install their products, both new and replacement. This makes sense when you consider the amount of money and time spent on developing products that perform to the requirements of various energy conservation codes and the fact the proper installation is necessary to ensure the windows perform as they are designed to do. It makes even more sense for homeowners when you consider that any warranty may be void if the windows are not installed by a manufacturer-certified installer.
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