Easy Energy Efficiency
By: Danny Lipford
Andy and Judy Falls recently moved into their 1960s-era home with their rescue dog, Buster.
The house has a bedroom addition that got uncomfortably warm in the summer. We discovered that the attic above the addition was sealed off from the main attic. So, we cut a vent opening to improve the air flow between the two attics.
We also helped Andy and Judy make some easy – and inexpensive – energy efficiency improvements to their home, including:
- Sealing leaky ductwork in the attic – $23 for foil tape and mastic
- Installing additional soffit vents – $24 for 12 aluminum vents
- Applying window film to patio doors – $47 for Gila Heat Control Platinum window film and installation kit
- Adding enclosed blinds to patio doors – $115 for each set of ODL add-on blinds
- Insulating attic stairs – $49 for Duck Brand attic stair cover
Installing Soffit Vents
The house had two exhaust fans to remove hot air from the attic. But, there weren’t enough soffit vents to let in fresh air, so the fans were drawing cool air out of the house. The solution was to add about a dozen more soffit vents on the front of the house to drawn in plenty of fresh air.
We started by laying out the positions for the new soffit vents, which needed to be evenly spaced. To speed up marking the cut lines, we used a template that was slightly smaller than the vent cover itself. Using circular saws, we made plunge cuts on each side of the rectangle, then used a jig saw to finish the corners. Then we install and paint the grills to match the soffit.
Watch How to Install Soffit Vents for details.
Applying Window Film
Applying window film to glass doors and windows can help reduce glare, block UV rays, and lower energy costs by reducing solar heat gain. This was an easy step we could take toward making Andy and Judy’s bedroom more comfortable.
First, we cleaned the glass thoroughly, making sure we got in the corners and around the edges without leaving any lint on the surface. After that we sprayed the glass with the adhesive solution and spread it out with a small squeegee.
Next, We cut the window film slightly larger than the dimensions of the glass and used ordinary adhesive tape to separate the clear liner from the window film. Then we sprayed the window film with the adhesive solution and applied it to the glass.
Finally, we trimmed the excess film off around the edges before one last pass with the squeegee.
Watch How to Install Window Film for more info.
Adding Enclosed Blinds to Patio Doors
Add-on enclosed blinds reduce heat loss in the winter and solar heat gain in the summer, so they were the perfect addition to Andy and Judy’s existing patio doors.
We marked the position on the door where the frame of the blinds would clear the door hardware. After thoroughly cleaning the glass, we mounted the bracket above the glass that supports the blinds. Once they were lined up we removed the backing from an industrial strength adhesive strip.
Small levers on the sides of the unit raise and lower blinds or open and close them for privacy. And, because they’re behind glass, they’ll never need dusting.
Watch Enclosed Blinds for Entry Doors for more info.
Other Tips from This Episode
Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
How to Patch a Hole in Drywall
Follow these simple steps to expertly patch a hole in drywall. Watch video.
Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Ring Video Doorbell Pro
With the Ring video doorbell, when someone rings the bell, you can answer the door from anywhere using your smartphone or tablet. It is available at The Home Depot. Watch video.
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