1. Inspect both the inside and outside of your home for potential draft sources.
- Moisten your hand with water and run it along the edges of interior window and door trim, as well as along the baseboards of exterior walls – if you feel a draft like wind blowing through a straw, sealing that gap with caulk can make a big difference in your energy bills
- Check for gaps in the foundation of your home, especially around basement windows or drainage pipes
- Consider the age and quality of the insulation beneath your flooring, or in the ceiling of your basement
- Check pipes near exterior walls and see if the are losing heat due to lack of insulation
2. Seal drafts with caulk, foam, or draft blockers.
Sealing drafts with caulk is a great way to save 10-15% on your energy bills without sacrificing the aesthetic appeal of your doors, windows, and baseboards. We recommend checking out our post on acrylic vs. silicone caulk to learn more before selecting a product for your caulking project. The location of your draft will influence which type of caulk you need.
Insulating foam is a great way to seal larger gaps (more than 1/8″) in garages, near basement windows, and around pipe penetrations. This foam is inexpensive and easy to use, and provides a waterproof seal for gaps up to 1 inch. The foam can be sanded and painted once it’s dry for a clean, finished appearance.
Draft blockers are the quickest way to seal gaps, especially between the bottom of a door and the ground. There are basic draft blockers that can be laid on the floor in front of the gap, or more heavy-duty draft blockers that are double sided and slide underneath the door itself. Both models are very effective, but the double-sided draft blocker is more efficient for doors that are opened and closed regularly. Don’t forget about your basement door!
3. Insulate windows and sliding glass doors with plastic.
If you do not insulate your windows, you could be losing more energy than you realize through your windows and sliding glass doors. This is especially important if your windows and doors are old, and rattle in the wind. After sealing any obvious gaps with caulk, add an extra layer to your windows with an insulation kit.
These kits consist of non-damaging double-sided tape, and plastic that shrinks when heat is applied. Be sure to purchase the correct kit for the size of the window or door you plant to insulate. All you need to install these insulation kits is a pair of scissors, a hair dryer, and a few minutes. Don’t skip this critical energy-saving step!
Consider other areas in your home that may need attention:
If you haven’t taken care of these steps already, you’ll want to consider getting them done before the temperatures drop. These extra tasks will help prevent costly damage caused by ice and snow during the upcoming frigid months.
- Seal your asphalt driveway (be sure to fill any cracks and holes before sealing)
- Stain your wooden deck
- Change the batteries in your thermostat
- Replace your furnace filter
- Disconnect your garden hose
Need help, or a product recommendation?
Visit your neighborhood Valu Home Center and talk to our knowledgeable Sales Associates for friendly advice, and expert product knowledge. We’re glad to help with your latest DIY project, including winterizing your home and getting ready for the harsh weather ahead!
Tagged In: , cold weather, fall, insulate, weatherize, winter, winterize