DIY: Winterize your Home & Save
The weather is turning cooler and there’s a chill in the air. Keep the cold out by taking the following steps to keep warm while reducing energy costs.
- Seal your windows
Let’s work on the outside first. Fill out any small gap or crack around your window with a caulking gun. Once you apply the caulk you can smooth it with your finger covered with a latex glove, a spoon or a foam paintbrush. If you have wider gaps and cracks use an expanding foam sealant to fill them up.Now let’s move inside. Indoor air leaks can be eliminated by using either weather stripping or plastic sheeting from a window insulation kit. You can find a variety of weather stripping options to choose from, such as vinyl foam, sponge rubber, rope cord caulk and a few others. For more information about these options visit our hardware department.
If you decide to use weather stripping, no matter which material, the application is simple and easy. First make sure the area is clean and dry, and then apply it between the sash and the frame of each window. Foam or rubber weather stripping will have to be cut to the length of the window with a pair of scissors or a utility knife, while the rope cord caulk can be just tear to fit. Remember weather stripping should not interfere with the window operation.
If you find a plastic sheeting kit that fits your needs just tape down the edges. Then use a hair dryer to shrink and seal the sheeting over the window.
- Seal your doors
Don’t let the heat inside your home walk out your door! Sealing your doors is as easy as sealing your windows. Thoroughly clean and dry both sides and top of the door; cut the strips to length, peel off the backing and press it into place. To seal the bottom you can install a weather-tight threshold or door sweep.
- Seal your outlets and light switches
As you know air can leak through interior walls and exterior walls through outlets and light switches. To stop these leaks you can install foam gaskets filling out any holes or gaps around the switches and outlets. You can also use safety plugs to stop air leaks through unused electrical outlets.
- Check your heating system
Before it gets really cold clean your furnace or heating system. You can have a professional come in or you can check your owner’s manual. Remember that if your furnace uses a filter you should change it every three months, or follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Consider your home winterized
Once you’ve sealed all the potential areas of air leakage, you can sit back and enjoy your toasty home and its lower energy costs. Using some form of insulation product around your windows and doors can save you an average of 15% on a normal energy bill*. We hope this short list gives you the basics to start your winterizing project today.