Caulk your windows. Weatherstrip your doors. It’s that time of year again.
No, I don’t mean the time of year when you should do those things. I mean it’s the time of year when all the news stories that include this ineffective advice start appearing. There’s a lot of bad advice included in those articles, but let’s just look at why the caulking and weatherstripping advice will provide minimal relief.
The first problem with caulking and weatherstripping
I’ve written about this topic a number of times. Most recently, it was my article about bad energy saving tips on Clark Howard’s website. I covered a number of their bad tips but gave only a cursory answer to the caulking and weatherstripping issue:
That is Reason Number 1 that caulking and weatherstripping aren’t going to help a whole lot. When you’ve got really big holes in the ceiling or floor, the gaps around the windows and doors pale in comparison. For example, there’s the bathtub hole in the floor, as shown in Image #2 at the bottom of this page.
The open chase to the attic is another biggie (Image #3, below). The mechanical closet in the photo had no ceiling.
Occasionally contractors or homeowners put really crazy holes in the ceiling. My in-laws had a hole cut in their kitchen ceiling (Image #4, below), and the best I could figure was that the remodeling contractor who did their kitchen a few years earlier thought their refrigerator needed to be vented to the attic.
Another crazy hole found in someone’s home was the one shown in Image #5.…