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Seal cracks to save energy, money

October 31, 2011

Finding and sealing air leaks can save you energy and money. Here’s a tip from the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives that can help keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter while lowering your utility bills.

Caulking cracks and openings can save you $212 a year. Find cracks by waiting for a windy day and then carefully holding a lit incense stick or a smoke pen next to your windows, doors, electrical outlets, and other spots where outside air may infiltrate. If the smoke stream moves horizontally, you’ve found a leak that needs to be sealed.

Experts recommend using waterproof, flexible, and long-lasting silicone caulk to seal cracks and gaps that are less than one-quarter-inch wide. Remove any old caulk and clean the surface before applying new caulk.

Fresh caulk takes several hours, or longer, to dry, so it’s best to do the job on a dry day when humidity is relatively low and the temperature is above 45 degrees F. In addition to caulk, you can use low-expansion spray foam to seal leaks.

For other tips on how to save energy—and money—visit Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives energy-saving website, www.TogetherWeSave.com.

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