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By: Guillermo Hurley

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Home Energy Efficiency Can Be Achieved Through Sealing Air Lea

There are numerous ways to maximize your home's energy efficiency, save money,
and reduce your carbon footprint. You can install an efficient heating and cooling
system, replace incandescent light bulbs with Compact Florescent Light bulbs
(CFLs), or invest in energy-efficient appliances. But perhaps the best way to save
energy and reduce monthly utility bills is by sealing air leaks in your home.
Considering the hefty price we pay to heat and cool our homes, it's only logical to
keep that costly heated or cooled air inside where it belongs.

Continue reading to learn the top three main sources of air leaks in a typical home,
and ways in which to treat them.

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Windows and Doors: Homeowners pay significantly more to heat or cool their
homes when costly indoor air can easily escape through cracks along windows and
doors. While it's true that not everyone has the money to spend on replacing
outdated windows and doors, it doesn't mean there's nothing you can do about
sealing air leaks in your home. Do-It-Yourself weather stripping for doors and
caulk for windows are both affordable and hassle-free solutions to air leaks. To
block excessive summer heat and winter chill from entering your home, you can
also use drapes or curtains to cover windows.

Insulation: Properly insulating your home is one of the best ways to save energy,
increase efficiency, and seal air leaks. To experience the best results, fully insulate
your home's basement, attic, and walls. A home that is not properly insulated can
quickly lose energy, forcing you to adjust your thermostat to remain comfortable-
thus spending more money than is necessary.

Since natural gas rates and electricity rates higher than ever before, insulation is a
"must-have" for homeowners trying to lower their utility bills. Insulation is
measured in terms of R-value, or the ability to resist heat flow.

The higher the R-value, the thicker the insulation and the more protected your
home will be from outdoor elements. While many homeowners think that
insulation is more important in colder climates, homeowners in states with high
humidity ,driveway sealing and elevated year-round temperatures will also
benefit from a fully insulated home. Maintaining the proper R-value means that
your home will be more comfortable during summer or winter months, and that
you'll need to use less air conditioning or heating, respectively.

Air Ducts: Air ducts are designed to transport cooled or heated air from a heating,
ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) into various rooms in a home. A
faulty air duct system, however, can result in massive energy loss and expensive
utility bills. In fact, leaky ducts can lose up to 40% of a home's heated or cooled
air -- the air that's costing so much money each month. In many cases, leaky air
ducts simply need to be repaired, not replaced. You can hire a trained contractor to
repair and clean your home's air ducts for a nominal fee. Don't worry: the money
you'll save on energy expenses will quickly pay for the cost of repairing your
home's ducts. Cleaning air ducts not only increases energy efficiency and saves
money, it also improves indoor air quality.

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