Blocking the escape of air that you have already paid to heat will save on your heating bills. By cutting off the escape of warm air, you also slow the entry of cold air. Together they result in money saved on your heating bills.
Any warm air that escapes from your house has to be replaced. Nature does not like a vacuum, so outside air will get in to replace the warm air that got away. The replacement wintertime outdoor air is cold. You need to heat the cold air to keep your home warm. That costs you extra money.
Warm air rises to escape by moving up and out.
Because warm air works its way upward, blocking it is a top down job. You need to find and seal off places were air travels up into your attic. Once your warm air gets to the attic it can easily escape out the end wall vents.
Personally, I never did like the idea of crawling around in an attic. It is a job that I would not do at my age. I suggest that you hire a pro to do it for you. Keep records of what you spend on this work because the folks who help you do your tax returns may be able to use it to your advantage.
If you choose to do it yourself, don’t go into your attic until you have the tools and materials needed to do the job in one trip. You’ll need a good tripod flashlight that you can set down and aim where the work is.
Other items are gloves, dust mask and cans of spray foam to seal openings. Plus, you need to have two or three pieces of heavy plywood cut so it will fit through the opening into the attic.
These are to walk on and to crawl around on. Smooth the edges to avoid getting splinters in your knees. Remember you need to get to all parts of the attic without falling through the ceiling.
Pack it all your tools and supplies in a tool bag.
Are you sure, you want to this yourself?
What you are looking for is any opening in the ceiling where heated air can escape into the attic. Look around and notice if there any areas where the insulation looks dirty. Air rising up into the attic sometimes leaves a tell tale trail of dust behind.
Lift the insulation at the top of walls and look under it for openings. When you find an opening, seal it closed with a generous amount of spray foam insulation.
Carefully look around pipes that run up into the attic. Seal around the pipes and ductwork. If you find a big opening, you may need some pieces of wood to reduce the amount of foam you use.
Seal the small holes where electric wires come through the ceiling. Even these little holes are costing you money.
You need to be careful not to create a fire hazard in two areas.
Electric lights that are recessed into the ceiling need to be exposed to the air in the attic so they do not trap too much heat. You are not supposed to insulate over them to avoid overheating. They let air escape into the attic. I do not like recessed lights.
The other area where extra care is needed is around chimneys or furnace flues. These need to be sealed with a special fire and heatproof sealant or sheet metal skirts. If you used ordinary spray foam to seal these hot spots, it could cause a fire. Keep all insulation well away from them.
Finish the job with more insulation.
XIf you are going to spend the time up in your attic, you might as well do a first class job of it. Make sure that you have at least 15 to 20 inches of fiberglass insulation to get the maximum savings for all your work. For more information on attic insulation visit Owens-Corning.com.
Click here for a free money saving report written by the Energy Boomer titled HOW SAVE MONEY ON YOUR NEXT HEATING BILL