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Door & Window Sealing

 
The inexpensive and simple task of sealing around doors and windows can reduce your energy bills by up to 15%. Actual case studies have shown that in some cases, a reduction of up to 50% of energy use has been achieved through the installation of door and window seals. Architectural, retrofit and DIY solutions are available to suit any door or window configuration.  
 
Another great way to save on energy is to “zone” areas with sealing systems to keep the heating or cooling where you want it and to prevent wasting energy into areas where you don’t need it. This can be done by using seals on internal doors within a building onto doors such as stairwells, storage rooms or maintenance areas. 
 
Budget can often be a factor when it comes to any DIY task at home that’s why you should always start from the room you use the most heating and cooling in at home.  The living and dining area are often the most populated and as such consumes the highest amount of energy for heating and cooling.
 
Check all the seals around your appliances such as ovens and fridges and make sure no hot or cool air is seeping out.  Then check all the windows and doors and seal up any gaps or cracks in these high traffic areas. Ensure all your heating and cooling appliances are operating efficiently and are regularly serviced and you’ll keep your heating and cooling bills to a minimum.
 
You can then work your way around the home sealing up all gaps and cracks in windows and doors till your house is fort knocks and the prisoner is the air trying to escape! 
 
Whilst the energy and cost savings of sealing doors & windows is immediate and significant, other benefits also include providing acoustic protection as well as preventing the intrusion of weather, vermin, dust or bushfire embers. 
 
This is something you should check at least annually as weather and wear & tear will affect most areas of the house.  If you notice a spike in your energy bills when you were not expecting it I would add looking for broken/damaged seals and cracks to your checklist.
 
Case Study – David Saunders, S2 Design
 
Below is a case study by David Saunders, Architect of S2 Design who commenced the task of not only designing and building his own home, but also providing a best-practice example of environmentally aware and sustainable living. David concentrated on water and energy consumption with other features in there some of which are not yet completed, and used several products from Raven door and window seals throughout the home. 
 
David was able to decrease his in house energy consumption by 50% when he installed
Door & window seals all the way through his home – that’s a cost saving of around $1,200 per year! These seals are an economical solution to what is becoming an ever increasing cost to consumers everywhere.  Energy bills are on the rise and that is a given and little can be done to reduce the cost so every effort needs to be made to reduce consumption.
 
David found that the seals throughout his home would pay for themselves in less than 2 years. 
 
Other particularly interesting sustainability elements of David’s home include:
 
Water supply - 43,400 litres of water is stored in 4 tanks in the basement to provide water for everything except drinking. Current mains water usage is ~30 litres per day for a family of 4 people  = 7.5 litres per person.
 
Food - The 'roof farm' [yet to be completed] will provide all of the fruit and vegetable requirements for the household. Excess produce will be traded through food co-ops or local cafes and restaurants. The ground level currently includes a large citrus hedge, salad garden, selection of herbs and an espaliered Pomegranate tree.  – Look for food co-ops in your local area especially if you have a fruit tree that provides you with an abundance of fruit year after year.
 
Hot water - Solar boosting supplies 100% of hot water for around 70% of the year; the remaining heat is provided by a gas booster. – Use your hot water sensibly adjust lifestyle choices to reduce your consumption, for example reduce shower times and rinse dishes etc. in cold water.  Try and keep shower and hot water usage to during the day when you solar production is on. 
 
Electricity – David keeps his consumption to a minimum due to the energy efficient appliances and lighting, efficient sealing and being energy efficient around the home. 50% of usage is currently subsidised by only seven solar panels. Additional panels will be added in due course to offset the entire household electricity costs.
 
Air conditioning - is not required in this house due to the combination of high levels of thermal insulation, double glazing with Argon insulated air gaps and the application of simply passive solar principles to encourage natural heating and cooling [see below].
 
Lighting – No need to use artificial light during the day, make the most of the sunlight! Skylights, windows, glass walls and glass floors allow natural light to flood the entire house. At night, ambient light from the moon, stars and three surrounding street lights is supplemented by LED and compact fluorescent lamps.
 
Heating - is mainly from the sun and supplemented by a highly efficient gas boosted hydronic radiator heating system. The heating system is monitored by a 'Nest' which documented during the last month of Winter we used 30 hours [total] of heating i.e. around one hour per day to maintain minimum temperatures of 16 degrees Celsius overnight and 18 during the day. Daytime temperatures were generally recorded between 21 and 25.
 
Cooling - There are three separate cooling systems in place: 1. Air is pumped from the cool basement up to the top level living area via an electric fan. 2. Cool humidified air is drawn from the two internal rainforests. 3. Ceiling fans push warm air out through high level windows thus drawing cool air into the house from the ground level courtyards.
 
Ventilation - Venturi, stack and convection based systems are used to encourage natural air flow, draw fresh air throughout the house and complement the assisted cooling and heating systems.
 
Materials - throughout the house [where practical] are recycled, plantation grown, zero VOC and/ or naturally occurring. Secondary finishes such as paint have been minimised or eliminated completely by leaving durable construction materials in their natural 'as built' state. For example, look at the natural timber panelling, beams and cladding, also the concrete floors.
 
Waste - is carefully separated to minimise landfill. All organic waste is composted. Paper, glass, plastic and other suitable materials are put aside for curbside collection.
 
Grey water - is separated from sewerage so it can be collected for reuse if required.
 
Door and Window Seals 
 
Raven have a range of door and window seals available from leading hardware stores to suit any need or configuration. The full range can be seen here
 
 
The handy selection guide below will help identify the right seal for your needs. 
 
 
 
If you are not confident what products you need to use where always ask someone in your local hardware shop, they have a wealth of knowledge and if the person you ask can’t help you they usually know someone that can.
 
If your living in a rental there is still lots you can do to reduce your air leakage, from buying draft excluders to using cotton wool to plug area’s like key holes, hang heavy curtains to reduce the amount of air getting through.  Speak to your landlord ultimately if you’re going to be there for a while paying to get these gaps sealed up will pay for its self within a few years on your heating and cooling bills!
 
Don’t forget once you have your house sealed uptight you need to couple this with using your appliances efficiently.  Don’t get complacent and think because your house in free from air leakage you can afford to be a little reckless with your energy consumption.  Maximise those saving and make your hard work pay off by using your appliance efficiently.
 
Energy prices are on the increase and the big energy companies will find a way to increase their profit margin the more people that turn to solar, it would seem the more people that get solar the higher the energy companies costs are to maintain the equipment that provides us with the energy.
 
Energy prices are typically made up from;
retail operation costs, such as meter reading, billing, marketing etc. 
network costs 
wholesale electricity costs
Go figure. it’s not energy prices that are affecting you it’s the network costs that can make up to 45% of the energy price, these companies say they need to pay to keep the energy flowing.  Of course that cost is passed onto consumers!
 
It’s important to not only understand your energy consumption but your energy bill to ensure you can keep costs low you can find out more on understanding your energy bill here.
 
You can lean more on the www.saveenergysavemoney.com.au website, if you find you are running prehistoric appliances these too could be contributing to your high energy bills, upgrading your least efficient appliance will pay for its self over time.  Don’t delay upgrade your inefficient appliance today with www.saveenergysavemoney.com.au.
 
Please feel free to  email  one of our friendly team if you have any more questions on the topic we would be happy to assist you with your question.
 
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