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Ask the expert: Drafty mobile home

5:58 PM, Jan 14, 2013   |    comments
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"Pinetreegirl" Asks:

I live in a older trailer and find it to be very drafty. I check and put plastic on windows , I have used can foam insulation on cracks, is there any ting else I can do?

Tom Caron of Northeast Inspection Services Answers:

Dear Pinetreegirl,

Great name!

You need a blower door test, but discounting that, there are some things you can do.

It's a little known fact but, heat goes to cold. When we sit near windows the cold window will pull warmth from us and we feel colder than if we sat away from the window.

You mentioned that you had sealed everywhere you could. Maybe you can find more holes in your home. Get something safe that emits smoke. On windy day go around your house and put it near any cracks, joints, openings etc., you can find. Check in closets, ceilings cupboards. Even check your outlets. I find that outlets all over the house leak. Even the openings for the plugs allow air intrusion. You can buy foam gaskets to put behind the outlet covers and child safe outlet covers for the holes in the fixture.

Now, what about the skirt around the base of your home and the cover that's put under the frame to hold the insulation? Have you looked under there to see if there are any holes in the material? Remember, insulation usually does not stop air movement. In fact, if air can blow through it, the insulation does you no good. A tight skirt around the base of the house can stop air movement and that mat stop the air from getting into the hole the pipes come in through. If you seal the skirt there should be plastic on any bare ground that's under there.

Finally, how about your dryer vent? If it's dirty it can get stuck open ( it can also cause a fire).

This story was originally posted on November 20, 2008.

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