NEED HELP - Energy Efficiency - Insulation/Windows and Doors
I recently built my first home and need some suggestions. With the recent cold blast in the Midwest, suspicions that I had that there was some air leakage have pretty much been confirmed. We were almost excessive with the caulking around the windows, yet it still seems that there is leakage. (I fear that having bought lower end windows may be playing a part in this) I live in a rural subdivision where it is often very windy. Here is what I need to know:
1) Any suggestions for a practical way to go around my house and check for leakage. (I had one person tell me to go around with incense sticks and watch the smoke, but I was hoping for something a little more quantitative)
2) If temperature variations/air leaks are found around the windows and doors, what are the best solutions to fix the issue.
The incense idea is not all that bad, IF, the wind is blowing at the time. You may want to invest in an infared temperature gun. These are the type used to shoot a dot on machinery to see what the temps are. You could shoot the dot on a wall and slowly move it across the surface and see if it changes significantly near doors or windows. Just a thought. Repairing could include using foam in a can. Just make sure you get the low volume type so you don't apply too much pressure against window frames whick could "push" them out of shape. Good luck.
If you have never made a mistake, you haven't done much.
I've heard of using a candle or piece of toilet paper. Plastic on the windows could be a cheap, easy fix for the winter. Or storm windows may help too. Check around your trim on your windows. I had some air leakage there and took some painter's caulk and applied to the seams.