Community takes on energy challenge
Caulking and sealing windows and doors is not just for handy men anymore.
The Sustainable Living and Renewable Energy Roundup sponsored a free workshop Saturday at Meeks to help people learn to save energy and money.
“We’re doing a 20 percent energy challenge this year,” coordinator Vicki Bates said, “to help people find ways to conserve energy in their homes and reduce energy waste, energy use and energy bills.”
Meeks paint specialist Aaron Flesher explained to a class of 20 people how to weatherize doors and windows properly to ensure a good seal.
“It helps lower your heating bill by keeping the thermostat down. As long as doors and windows are weatherized properly, you’ll have a less drafty house,” he said. “Anybody can do it. It’s a really simple process. It’s also cost efficient. You could probably caulk your house for less than $20.”
Pam Tompkins of Gardnerville is always looking for ways to conserve energy in her home.
“I’m very proconservation. I have a home I bought as is, and I know there are things I can do to improve it,” she said. “I’m more concerned about my doors than windows, but I do have one garden window in my kitchen that I can see ice on the inside when the weather gets cold.”
Flesher explained different types of caulk and the proper temperatures to use them.
“If it’s below 40, you’re going to wait up to four to five days for the caulk to cure,” he said. “You also want to make sure you start early in the day so the caulk has enough time to dry”
He also discussed running double-sided tape around the window frame and attaching plastic sheeting to it for people not so handy with a caulk gun.
“It looks kind of tacky, but it’s going to serve a purpose,” he said. “If you don’t want to use caulking or plastic, get a really thick drape and stuff it into the bottom of the window sill. I did it in my son’s room and it stays nice and warm in there.”
When it comes to doors, Flesher demonstrated using weatherstripping for the bottom of the door.
“It comes in eight-foot strips, and you don’t have to take the door off,” he said. “You pull the old stuff out and replace it with the new stuff.”
Another easy to use product was minimum expansion foam in the door frame to stop outside air from coming in.
“What a lot of people don’t realize is when contractors frame the door, they leave a gap,” Flesher said. “Once you foam it in, you put the trim back on and caulk it all up.”
Flesher also recommended using big gap foam or pest block foam for bigger holes outside the house such as around hose bibs.
Minden resident Mike Noble gave last month’s workshop on passive solar, and encourages people to attend the next one.
“With these workshops, people can save money by doing relatively simple things like passive solar,” he said.
The date for next month’s workshop hasn’t been determined yet, but it will focus on window coverings.
For more information, visit http://www.greenlivingfest.org.