Several years ago we moved into an older house (built about 1975) and one of the big energy savers has been plugging up the air leaks.
- Caulk around windows and doors.
- Caulk where different building materials meet: found some 1/2" gaps between the siding on bay window and the brick of that wall.
- Caulk where brick fireplace meets the inside walls.
- Weatherstripping around doors: including the garage doors, the attic access door, and between double doors (there was none). Weatherstripping around the basement garage door raised the temperature at that end of the basemet by 10 degrees in cold weather.
- Adding storm windows (good storm windows, properly installed, are almost as good as double pane windows at 1/3 the cost).
All the above added up to $90 difference in heating costs (natural gas central furnace) from one month to the next.
The ceiling will get additional insuation when I'm able to remove the attic flooring for access - spinal fusion surgery does slow you down for a while 🙂
The house is bigger than we need now that the children are out on their own, but since I've become the unofficial patriarch of the clan our house is the family gatherng place. Our children, our grandchildren, even some of the in-laws gather here after family reunions and for holidays. We typically have at least 4 people staying with us during part of the summer and 6 people staying with us over Christmas (12 people for Christmas dinner last year). The upstairs suite (2 bedrooms and a bath) is closed off when not in use and the temperature is kept in a safe range (warm enough to keep pipes from freezing in the winter; cool enough to control humidity in the summer).
The new and more efficient furnace is on the to-do list, but even with energy tax credits being available this may not be the year for a large expense...