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Reduce Air Infiltration - Improve Energy Efficiency

Green with a capital "G" was first and foremost in my mind when building the Garden Home Retreat. There are plenty of little tips that can make a huge difference in your monthly energy bill. Now, before you think you already know them all, take a look at this. Air infiltration expert Phillip Rye has a unique perspective on the subject that just may change how you go green with your house.

Phillip Rye, Air Infiltration Expert:  We're going to talk about some of the most important things you can do to drastically lower the utility bills in your home.

The three most important things that you can take control of are air infiltration, air infiltration, and air infiltration. I tell you that because that's how important that is.

Whether you're building a new house or trying to improve the energy efficiency of an existing home, the tools that are helpful for preventing air infiltration are caulk, electrical gaskets, water heater blankets and wraps, cellulose insulation that you can add in the attic, and weather stripping around doors and windows.

So one of the things I recommend are foam electrical gaskets to stop air from coming in from the hole behind electrical outlets where the wires come into the house. They are very inexpensive, maybe a nickel apiece. Installation is pretty simple.   The first thing to do is turn your power off, if you can, to that outlet before you take the cover off. Then just unscrew the outlet cover.  Pop in the foam gasket and screw the outlet cover back on.  The cover seals around that gasket, seals it totally tight, eliminating all air infiltration.

Another thing you can do that is especially important with existing homes is to caulk around the baseboards to seal cracks. So if you have cracks in your baseboards or space, just get you a tube of caulk and just caulk that area to stop that.

You can really increase the energy efficiency of your home with the addition of cellulose insulation in your attic. The general rule is that you should have a total of 12 inches of insulation. So if you have six inches of fiberglass insulation, add another six inches of cellulose on top of that for the summertime.