Weatherization/Overview of weatherization procedures

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Typical weatherization procedures[edit | edit source]

Typical weatherization procedures include:

  • Sealing bypasses (cracks, gaps, holes), especially around doors, windows, pipes that penetrate the attic ceiling, and other areas with high potential for heat loss, using caulk, foam sealant, weather-stripping, window film, door sweeps, electrical receptacle gaskets, and so on to reduce infiltration.
  • Protecting pipes from corrosion and freezing.
  • Installing footing drains, foundation waterproofing membranes, interior perimeter drains, sump pump, gutters, downspout extensions, downward-sloping grading, French drains, swales, and other techniques to protect a building from both surface water and ground water.
  • Providing proper ventilation to unconditioned spaces to protect a building from the effects of condensation.
  • Installing roofing, building wrap, and siding, or making sure they are in good condition on an existing building.
  • Installing insulation in walls, floors, and ceilings, around ducts and pipes, around water heaters, and near the foundation and sill.
  • Installing storm doors and storm windows.
  • Replacing old drafty doors with tightly sealing, foam-core doors.
  • Replacing older windows with low-energy, double-glazed windows.

Sometimes, people use the phrase "whole-house weatherization". This extends the traditional definition of weatherization to include installation of modern, energy-saving heating and cooling equipment, or repair of old, inefficient equipment (furnaces, boilers, water heaters, programmable thermostats, air conditioners, and so on). The "Whole-House" approach also looks at how the house performs as a system.

The practice of installing a vapor barrier inside the house has more to do with protecting the house from itself (its own internal moisture and temperature differences) than with protecting the house from the elements, therefore, vapor barriers are not technically weatherization. However, you should understand the concept of vapor barriers before installing insulation or siding, or altering the ventilation in your house. Some houses do not need vapor barriers (depending on climate, type of insulation, amount of conditioned space within house, and so on).