It’s been a warm autumn in New England but now that it’s November, there’s no denying that the cold is creeping in fast. The Maine coast is as rugged as it is beautiful, and homeowners from Camden to Kennebunkport know the only way to weather the winter is to keep the cold air out and the warm air in.
A drafty house with cold floors and walls may seem like just another given for Maine winters, but there is a solution. Proper insulation and air sealing will stop drafts under baseboards, floor registers, and windows and warm your drafty house once and for all. It will also make it much easier to control the temperature of your home, saving you hundreds of dollars on your heating and cooling bills all year.
How the Cold Air Gets In
In winter, air sneaks through your house via the many small gaps and openings typically found in a Maine home, from the cracks in a stone foundation wall to the eaves in the attic. The warm indoor air produced by your heating system is buoyant and rises, escaping through those openings in the upper portions of your home, around vents, plumbing, wiring, lighting fixtures and more.
This causes an interesting, and distressing, vacuum or stack effect: as the warm air rises out of your roof, cold “replacement” air is pulled into the house through the gaps down low. To make matters worse, more air moves even faster through the house when there is a large temperature difference between the outdoor and indoor air, making the coldest nights even “breezier” inside!
How to Warm A Drafty House
Have you ever put on a cozy sweater and headed outside just to have the wind blow right through? Add a windbreaker, and you’re immediately comfy, stopping the bone-chilling breeze and holding the warmth of your sweater close to your body.
Air sealing is like a windbreaker for your house, and insulation is like the sweater. Unfortunately, many Maine homes are not only under-insulated but most are not air-sealed, leading to poor insulation performance. To make your home work well, here’s what’s needed:
Locates all the small access areas for drafts in your home, from attic to basement, and fills them to keep the cold air from coming in around your insulation.
Keeps cold air from creeping through your foundation and into your floors.
Fills the empty spaces that allow the cold to seep into your home.
Closes the top of your building envelope to stop those drafts and stop the stack effect, and keeps the warmth in your living space for a major increase in comfort and a huge decrease in your energy bills.
Don’t Spend Another Winter Living with Drafts
Evergreen Home Performance will provide you with a free consult and can then offer you a comprehensive energy audit to get to the root of your home’s heating issues. We offer comprehensive solutions that can cut your energy bill by up to 25% and greatly increase your home’s comfort.
If you’re concerned about costs, we’ll walk you through available financing and help you with the paperwork so you can take advantage of up to $2,000 in incentives from Efficiency Maine.