How to Weatherproof Your Home for Winter

Posted October 26th, 2010
by Staff (no comments)

Whether you’re the environmental type, or just looking to save some money on your heating bills this winter, weatherproofing your home is always a good idea. Most often, the money you put into the materials and labor will come back to you in energy savings over time. There are several basic things every homeowner should do to weatherproof the house for winter.

  • Get familiar with a caulking gun. Find one you like and that you are comfortable using, then get to work. Look for gaps between door frames and the adjacent wall. Fill in any major gaps with weatherstripping, and smaller gaps with caulk. Do the same for windows.
  • Check for drafts. One simple way to check for drafts in your home is turn of the furnace and air vents, then light a stick of incense. Take the burning stick around to potential trouble spots, and watch to see where the smoke goes. If it’s being sucked out of your home, so is your heat. Another method involves shining a flashlight around the edges of windows and doors. Have a person on the other side tell you if they can detect the light. This method is good for locating major gaps, but may not be as helpful for finding small slits.
  • Install storm doors and windows. Cover screens with storm windows, and go the extra distance by applying plastic sheeting. These create insulating pockets of air that will help keep the cold air out.
  • Insulate. Does your attic have enough insulation? What about the rest of your house? Now is the time to find out. You can hire a professional to assess your home’s insulation and give you an estimate. The work may not be cheap, but the energy savings will make up for it in just a few short years.
  • Use draft protectors. Remember those funky little “snakes” that used to run under Grandma’s door in the winter months? Many outside doors are notorious for letting in drafts of cold air. Buy a draft snake or make your own to give it that personal touch. This is a great project to do with kids, and can be done very inexpensively.
  • Hire a professional. Have a home energy audit performed by a qualified technician. You can usually find one in your local phone book or ask your homeowners insurance company for a referral to a qualified specialist.

The government provides hefty tax credits for most weatherizing projects around the home, making the savings even that much greater. If you’re willing to do a little extra work, your home will be cozier all winter long.

Categories: Green Living

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