This past winter, I noticed that cold air was leaking in around the edges of my front door.
The steady draft was not only causing unpleasant temperature fluctuation but increasing demands on the furnace. I live in an area where the winter weather is downright brutal. It’s not unusual for the outside temperature to drop down into the negative digits and we typically rely on the furnace for six straight months. If the heated air is allowed to escape through gaps in the thermal envelope, my heating bills go up. Plus, the wear and tear on the furnace increases the chance of malfunction. I realized that a front door that isn’t airtight is a year round problem. In the summer months, tiny insects were probably getting inside. My air conditioned air was certainly leaking out while hot, humid air was coming in. I knew I not only needed a new front door but to make sure that the installation was handled properly. Weatherstripping, caulk and Energy Star rated products can go a long way in improving home comfort and efficiency. This led me to carefully inspect my home for other areas where I was sacrificing heated and cooled air. I felt an influx of cold air coming in around nearly every window, along the baseboards and even from around light switches. Tackling these concerns added up to a great deal of time, effort and money. New windows are rather expensive, but at least I was able to handle the installation myself. To increase the level of insulation in the walls, I hired a local HVAC contractor. They specialize in blown-in insulation and were able to complete the project without causing any major mess.