Owning and maintaining a home in North Dakota presents many challenges due to the range of temperatures that we face throughout our 4 seasons. The heat of the summer and the extreme cold in the winter months are hard to ignore. If your home is not properly sealed up, or poorly insulated, chances are you’re going to feel it and pay more because of it!
As a home inspector in Northern North Dakota, and someone who cringes at the sight of my utility bills every month, I would like to offer some tips to locate and correct some areas in your home that are costing you money every month, through energy loss.
1. ELECTRICAL SWITCHES AND OUTLETS ON EXTERIOR WALLS.
It is not uncommon to find gaps between the drywall and electrical boxes installed inside the walls, behind the cover plate. It may seem like a small air leak, but considering the number of outlets throughout the home, and the amount of unconditioned air coming through each one, it all adds up to be pretty significant. Sealing these gaps and installing foam gaskets behind the cover plates will provide some energy savings at very little cost.
2. AIR GAPS BEHIND THE BASEBOARDS ON EXTERIOR WALLS.
A little more labor intensive, but well worth the time and effort, this is a common area for drafts. If you can feel cold air coming in from your baseboards, remove the base molding and seal any visible gaps at the wall/floor connection.
3. CAN LIGHTS INSTALLED ON THE CEILING.
A small gap between the drywall and the light housing allows the heat to flow up and through these voids. When warm air escapes into the attic, it creates a vacuum that pulls cold outside air through any other void or opening at lower points throughout the home.
4. ATTIC ACCESS PANELS
It is recommended that all attic access panels located inside the living space be insulated to the level of the rest of the attic. It is very common for us to find uninsulated access panels. The panel should fit tightly in the opening and preferably have a gasket installed to eliminate air leaks. This is essentially a large hole in the ceiling of a home, and should be tightly sealed to minimize heat loss.
A thermal imaging camera is a great tool for locating areas in your home that are costing you $ by increasing your energy bills. Allow your local Minot North Dakota home inspector to conduct a heat loss inspection, and start saving on your energy bills!
For a more thorough inspection, contact Dakota Property Inspection, LLC at 701-578-8639