Cooling and heating your home can get expensive, especially here in the northeastern United States. Hot humid summers and freezing winters cost enough in energy bills as it is, but if you haven’t weatherized your home, you’re going to spend even more. During winter alone you could save up to $150 simply by spending a weekend afternoon grabbing some supplies at the hardware store and stopping up energy leaks around your house.
Get some help with weatherizing your home from the experts. Here are some of the top tips for weatherizing your home and where to start.
Tools You’ll Need to Weatherize Your Home
Before you jump into weatherizing your home, you’ll need to grab a few tools and materials to get started. Head over to your local hardware store and grab the following:
- Tubular pipe sticks
- Tee foam (for pipes)
- Elbow connectors (for pipes)
- Door Sweep
- Fiberglass pipe wrap
- Expanding foam
- Dust mask
- Duct tape
- Utility knife
- Caulk gun
- Safety glasses
- Caulking tool
- Work gloves
You may not need all of these tools and materials, depending on how well your home has already been weatherized. Learn how to weatherize your home by checking your exterior, windows, doors, and other common areas for energy leaks.
Weatherize Your Home Exterior
When you weatherize your home, you should start with the exteriors. This way you’ll be able to identify any large cracks or obvious leaks immediately. Bring your caulk gun and expanding foam with you; there’s a good chance you’ll need these materials while you weatherize your home exterior. The main areas that require caulk to seal leaks are:
- Windows and Doors—Check the exterior of your windows and doors and seal any gaps with caulk. If you don’t have storm windows, consider installing plastic window film to help provide additional insulation. Double check the exterior of your basement windows as well; they’re easy to forget when you’re weatherizing your home.
- Rim Joist—Check the top and bottom to make sure there are no gaps on the exterior side. Rim joists are the wooden boards that connect your concrete foundation to the floors of your home.
- Other Openings—Double check all around the exterior of your home for any areas that have gaps such as dryer vents, water pipes, air conditioner hoses, electrical outlets, and even water spigots.
Once you’ve weatherized these areas of your home with caulk, take your expanding foam and fill large holes and cracks with a small squirt. Expanding foam should not be used in areas with wires or other electrical equipment.
Weatherize Your Home’s Windows
The next area to check when you weatherize your home is the windows. Windows lose a lot of heat in the winter and let in sunlight that makes your home hotter in the summer. Again, you will want to bring your caulk gun with you as you check for any leaks around the interiors of your windows. Here are some of the most common tips to keep in mind when you weatherize your home windows:
- Caulk—Use on the outside edges of your window casing. If you need to seal up leaks in basement windows, use removable rope caulk so you can remove it quickly in the event that you need to ventilate your home—such as a carbon monoxide leak.
- Weather Stripping—Use adhesive-backed foam weather stripping in window tracks to prevent leaks.
- Glazing—Remove any old glazing and apply new glazing to the edges of the panes. You’ll need a putty knife to smooth out any bumps.
- Window Film—Apply window film if you don’t have storm windows.
- Curtains and Drapes—These are great for keeping your home cool in the summer because they insulate and block out bright sunlight that heats up your home.
Learning how to weatherize your home windows is a huge energy saver in both summer and winter.
Weatherize Your Home’s Doors
Drafty doors are a big culprit when it comes to energy loss in your home. Make sure your doors are well-sealed and ready to save you energy by following these tips for weatherizing your home doors.
- Caulk—If your doors have windows, edge the door casing with caulk.
- Rope Caulk—For side or basements doors that you don’t use very often, use rope caulk along the edges. It’s quick and easy to remove if you need to use the door again.
- Weatherstripping—Check your doorjamb and install weatherstripping if it’s not present.
- Glazing—Apply along the edges of the pane for doors with windows.
- Vinyl Gasket—if your current door threshold doesn’t have one, a vinyl gasket can help prevent drafts.
- Vinyl or Rubber Door Sweep—These can really help prevent energy leaks (and keep out bugs) by sealing up your door. Think of it as an upgrade form the traditional rolled-up towel under the door.
- V-Strip or Tension Seal—These metal or plastic strips spring open to seal up gaps in your doors or windows.
These tips for weatherizing your home will have you saving money in no time flat.
Other Areas to Check when Weatherizing Your Home
Although the exterior, doors, and windows are the biggest culprits when it comes to energy leaks in the home, there are other areas you can check to save yourself some extra money.
Here are a few other common culprits when it comes to energy leakage:
- Attic Stairs—Pull-down attic stairs are not usually sealed very well around the edges of the door. Because the attic is a huge area for energy loss, you can keep your home better insulated by adding some weatherstripping to the edges of the attic door cover.
- Fireplace—Your energy savings might just be heading out the fireplace if you have one. Consider installing a glass door surround to keep your heating and cooling costs down.
- Electrical Outlets and Switches—Make sure you use foam insulation kits designed for electrical elements and seal up any gaps in outlets on exterior walls.
- Attic and Basement—Attics lose a ton of heat, and even just some basic insulation will make a huge difference to your energy savings. If you have a basement, make sure the main floor of the house is insulated from the basement as well.
- Pipes—It’s no fun when pipes freeze and burst. Keep your plumbing safe by making sure your pipes are insulated.
When you save energy by weatherizing your home, you not only keep more money in your pocket, you also take care of the environment through the conscientious use of your resources. Spring Power & Gas is also dedicated to caring for the environment and helping our customers save energy in their homes. Learn more about Spring Power & Gas and our mission of bringing environmentally conscious energy to the forefront of the market today.