August 2011

Energy Efficient Renovation - Part IV (Doors and Windows)

small house plans

Doors and Windows

This was probably the easiest and quickest task. I installed weather-stripping at the casing of all my exterior doors and along the bottom of the doors. My single pane windows, being almost 100 years old, did not sit firmly and tightly at the bottom of the lower sash at the sill. And, being a wood to wood connection at the sash to sill and where the sashes overlap, air easily infiltrated. In fact, at some of the windows, if it was breezy outside it could blow out a candle on the inside… I installed simple foam weather-stripping under the bottom of the lower sash and along the back side of the top of the lower sash the seal the joint between the two sashes. Actually, I made my two teen-age sons do it, which will tell you how easy and quick it was…

Energy Efficient Renovation - Part III (Caulking & Spray Foam Insulation)

small house plans

Caulking and Spray Foam Insulation

They say it’s the little things that count. Don’t underestimate the value of properly sealing openings, even the smallest of ones. Air migrates through the smallest of cracks, so it’s really important to pay attention to this detail.

Energy Efficient Renovation - Part II (Ductwork)

Leaky Duct


In some houses, and certainly in mine, improperly installed or sealed ductwork is a major contributor to energy loss. Especially when the ductwork is run in the attic and/or basement through unconditioned space, you can lose up to 50% of the efficiency of the system. In my case, the sheathing on the outside on some of the 20 year old ductwork had split and cracked, exposed the insulation of the tube. I’ve systematically replaced each run of the flexible ductwork with the newer and more energy efficient foil ductwork. My biggest find though was in the duct tape that I had originally used to seal the flex to the main trunk and to the duct boots (at the ceiling and floor registers.)