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How to Properly Insulate and Seal Your Home for Winter

Nov 7, 2017 5:47:00 PM

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According to Energy Star, it's estimated that homeowners can save up to 15 percent on their heating bills during the winter months by taking the proper measures to insulate and seal their home before the cold weather sets in.

Yes, if you've regularly experienced drafts or if it seems like your furnace is continuously running in the winter, make no mistake about it - it's costing you. The good news is that there are a variety of simple things that you can do when it comes to preventing air leakage and reducing drafts. Here's a closer look at some easy things that you can do yourself:

Sealing Your Home for Winter

  1. The easiest thing you can do is analyze your windows and doors - both from the exterior and interior - to see if the caulking and weatherstripping is up to snuff. If there are gaps in the caulking or the caulk is cracking and worn, simply re-caulk the area to ensure they are sealed properly. Do the same thing with any vents, electrical wiring, plumbing or gas lines that enter the home - ensure that they are sealed properly to prevent air leakage, both from the inside and out.
  2. On the interior, pick up some foam gaskets and place them behind electrical outlets, especially on outlets that are installed around exterior walls. Foam gaskets are cheap and prevent drafts.
  3. Purchase some foam weather-stripping to install underneath your front and back doors. This work to prevent drafts from coming in underneath the door.
  4. Other areas to take note of include the kitchen exhaust fan. Consider covering this when it's not in use to avoid air leakage. Additionally, don't forget to swap out your front door screen for the storm door. Even when the front door is closed, a screen door is more prone to letting the cold in than a storm door. Additionally, head down to the basement and look for areas where your ducts may be separating and seal said areas.

Insulating Your Home for Winter 


  1. Consider picking up some plastic sheeting to place over your home's windows in the winter. These can be purchased at just about any hardware store and are applied using nothing but a hair dryer and some double-sided tape. They do an excellent job of keeping the warm air from escaping.
  2. Try a chimney balloon. Chances are heat is escaping the home through the chimney. That's where a chimney balloon may come in handy. These balloons inflate and are installed in the chimney to help prevent heat loss. We know what you're thinking - what if you forget to deflate the balloon before starting a fire? No worries, the balloon will automatically deflate itself in such conditions. 
  3. Insulate the attic door: Attics are typically filled with insulation, but one area that's notably absent is the attic door. Attics with no insulation in these spots are just losing heat through them. To remedy this issue, all you need to do is attach some insulation to the attic side of the door to prevent warm air from escaping through the hatch.