Fall is the time to weatherize

  • Published
  • By Matthew Latham
  • 4th Civil Engineer Squadron
Would you leave a window in your house open all year round? No. Well that's what you are doing if a building is not properly weatherized.

Weatherizing your home or facility can save 25-40 percent on heating and cooling bills. The average unweatherized building in the United States, leaks air at a rate equivalent to a 4 square foot hole in the building! The good news is that weatherization is cheap and highly effective at reducing energy costs.

The following are locations and tips to keep an eye on. Be sure to discuss any concerns with facility managers who can assist with submitting a work request.

Attic Space - The area above the ceiling or drop ceiling tiles in a residence or building is the first and most important place to look for weatherization. These areas should have proper insulation. Check areas around ceiling tiles for breaks or cracks and keep an eye out for water stains. Water stains are indicators of water coming in but may also be an indicator of conditioned air escaping. These are ideal places to get checked for adding caulking or repair. Adding radiant barriers, similar to aluminum foil, block infrared energy from entering or leaving a space and drastically reduce heat escaping during the winter months. Discuss with facility managers any opportunities to increase comfort in a space before requesting that they "turn up the heat."

Windows and Doors - Adding caulk and weather stripping to exterior windows and doors may have already been done in years past. However, these materials break down over time and should be checked twice a year during the spring and fall seasons. Be certain that areas near the floor and around the door trim are checked for air flow. Instruments and gauges are not required for these simple checks, simply place your hand or ear near the edges of windows and doors and you can easily feel if air is flowing. Remember, air escaping means dollars lost.

Exterior Walls - Ensure proper caulking is in place around all penetrations for electrical, telephone, cable, gas and water lines entering the building. In some cases, additional insulation may be required in the gaps prior to caulk and sealant.

Remember, October is Energy Awareness month. Look for more information around the base in weeks to come. Seymour Johnson is committed to reducing energy consumption in compliance with Executive Order 13423: Energy and Water Reduction Requirements.

Call 4th Civil Engineer Squadron operations services at 722-5139 for assistance with maintenance questions. For energy conservation questions, contact the energy office at 722-7443.