Poor energy efficiency isn’t only caused by cold air that penetrates our house, but could also be caused by warm indoor air that leaks outside of our home. Proper tightening and sealing of our home should be able to deal with both issues. However, there are other factors that we may not be aware of. It is also important that we are able to deal with the moisture problem can accumulate inside our house. When excess moisture is trapped inside our house, some amount of condensation may accumulate. During a cold winter, moisture won’t be able to escape our house, because nearly all contact with the outdoor air is terminated. In just a few months, we could deal with poor indoor air quality, mold growth, structural damage and humidity-related damages. There are different sources of moisture inside our house, such as shower, standing water, kitchen, uncovered sump pumps and others. Before sealing our house, it is important to deal with major sources of moisture in our house. It is also a good idea to put dehumidifiers in areas with plenty of moisture.
Many people think that replacing windows can provide good results in terms of improved energy efficiency. However, we should be aware that it may take years before windows will be able to pay for themselves. Replacing windows can be really expensive, especially if we can’t find energy-efficient windows with the identical dimension with our old windows. Windows are worth replacing only if they are badly damaged, causing significant leak of energy during very cold nights. For less serious problems, it is easier, faster and cheaper to fix the air seals and not the window itself. Often, we need to remove the window to completely replace the air seal and trim, but this is still a much cheaper task than a complete replacement. Windows with weight and chain also have poor energy efficiency and they can be replaced when you have the necessary budget and time to complete the job. Chain and weight may have cavities that cause a significant amount of warm indoor air to leak outside. This problem can’t be solved only with seals.
Many people think that they can improve the efficiency of the house on their own. However, if our house is reasonably big and it requires more complex energy efficiency solution, it is a good idea to hire a professional to assess our home. Energy professionals are not only trained to make our house efficient, but also safe. It means that the insulation will still ensure that our house will have healthy indoor air. They have tools and procedures to perform diagnostic testing to determine any worst performing area in our house. This will help professionals to narrow down culprits that can make our house less efficient. As an example, there could be hidden ventilation system with poor performance and back drafting furnaces. Sources of moisture, leaky gas lines, spots of mold growth and excess toxic fumes could also contribute to poor indoor air quality.