UNMC LiveGreen - Getting your ducts in a row
Install storm doors and windows, making sure they close securely.
Remove window A/C units.
- If you leave a window unit in place, put a cover on it and seal the edges to the window frame.
- Plug all holes and caulk all gaps where different building materials meet -- along the foundation and where chimneys, pipes and wires enter the home.
- Light a stick of incense or a candle and move it around windows, doors and baseboards -- where the smoke or flame wavers, you have a draft.
- Close the damper on your fireplace when you're not using it.
- Check the access to your attic -- caulk the frame where it meets the ceiling and place a gasket around the door.
- Weather strip windows/exterior doors, adjust or replace door sweeps.
- Put draft snakes against doors and on window sills, or use rolled up towels.
Insulate electrical boxes that house outlets and switches in exterior walls using pre-cut foam gaskets.
Have your heating system professionally tuned-up to keep it humming.
- Clean or replace furnace filters once a month, vacuum dirt off the coils of the air conditioner.
- Open and clean vents in rooms you use; close vents in unused rooms.
Dirt streaks on your duct work indicate leaks.
- Fix them with tape approved for duct sealing. Look carefully; it's not "duct tape."
- Call a professional if they're very dirty or worn.
Drain hoses, sprinklers and exterior faucets.
- Seal water leaks.
- Shut off exterior faucets with an interior valve and drain the faucets.
Change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Clean gutters so leaf debris doesn't cause ice dams on the roof.
Check the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency for rebates and incentives if you're adding insulation or replacing the furnace or water heater.