Our weather temperatures have been very up and down lately – 65 on Thanksgiving and last night it was below freezing. Before we settle into the deep chill of
the winter, now is the time to do your own energy audit and check for any issues that will keep an unwelcome nip in the air.
If you haven’t taken the time to check your home for leaky windows and doors, you need to get on that stat. Finding the window or door that is letting air in is easier than you think. It’s as simple as waiting for a breezy day and then slowly move a candle around your window and door frames. If the candle flame flutters or blows, you’ve found your energy leak. Once you’ve found the leaks, you can easily and quickly fix them with simple steps and tools.
Every doorway that leads outside, as well as every window in your house should be sealed with weather stripping. A package usually costs around $3 and comes in a variety of widths, from ¼ inch to ¾ inch or more. The underside of window sashes should have a strip, as well as the outside edges of screen doors and sliding glass doors. For doors that lead to a utility room or a garage, make sure your threshold is weatherproofed with either weather stripping or with caulk, or with a rubber stop or gasket that can be placed against the base.
Rubber Gasket Strips
Rubber gasket strips are made for the bottom and tops of garage doors, which will help keep out large drafts that find their way inside your home. Since most garages are connected to the home, this will help more than you may think.
Clear Plastic Sheeting
Interior sheeting kits are becoming more and more popular in cold areas of the country. This plastic sheeting, which looks like Saran Wrap, comes in a roll that you spread over your window and then attach with double sided sticky tape and then warm with a blow dryer. 3M makes a product that is durable and easy to apply. When it’s done correctly, you can hardly tell that it’s there and it can make a huge difference.
Use caulk to seal around outside vents, including the one that hooks to your dryer hose. Fill any cracks around outside vents that are less than ½ inch in width. You should also caulk around window trim and edgings to ensure a tight seal against drafts.
Use this spray foam to fill spaces between baseboards and walls, as well as in screened patios and anywhere you feel a draft seeping in rooms from the area where walls meet floors. You can also use insulating foam to fill holes for television and telephone cables, as well as outside faucets. Word to the wise – don’t get this on your hands or you could spend days scrubbing it off!
Taking a day out of your time will definitely be worth it when you see the reduction in your energy bill. Do it now before old man Winter really starts to bear down on our area!