Draft proofing (air sealing) and insulation are crucial elements to incorporate when making a building more energy efficient. Installing a more efficient furnace or heat pump without dealing with the building envelope, for example, may not provide the savings you had initially planned for.
Insulation prevents heat transfer from in and out of a home and draft proofing stops warm or cool air from leaking out of a building through cracks in the envelope. Getting a home air sealed has certainly proven to be a worthwhile activity for all the participants in the WinterProofing Program. This includes caulking, replacing old weatherstripping and sealing all cracks and gaps as well as incorporating insulation (with higher resistance values) from attic to foundation.
Over the past two years we have been a delivery agent for Enbridge’s Winterproofing Program to target older homes with low insulation levels to reduce and save on energy use every month. Our goal has been to minimize the amount of energy flowing out of older homes in the Niagara Region to ensure comfortable temperatures throughout the winter. This has allowed for households to not only reduce their greenhouse gas emissions but has also helped keep energy prices affordable by improving on existing homes.
In the end we scheduled and completed 411 Home Energy Evaluations and retrofitted 174 homes. This has saved 120877m3 of natural gas which is equivalent to 226 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year! We also installed 329 smart thermostats.
Here is a graphic to show common air leakage areas:
- Sill and header
- Electrical outlets
- Foundation cracks
- Floor drain
- Service lines (gas pipes, etc.)
- Mail slot
- Ceiling penetrations (chimney, light fixtures, plumbing stack vent, etc.)
- Exhaust fan vents (range, bathrooms, etc.)
- Attic hatch
- Fireplace including area around perimeter
Image and text from CleanBC Better Homes
We wish all the households we retrofitted an extra cozy winter and many more joyful moments at home!
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