Here’s how to tighten up your home for warmth and energy savings.
If your home feels chilly even when the heat's on, chances are your house has an air leak or two.
If you’re cold inside your home this winter, odds are it’s because the heat — which you work hard to pay for — is escaping. It’s rushing out through air leaks that can be difficult to find, both on the interior and exterior of your home. So how do you figure out where you’re losing air?
Walk On By
Start outside and check the foundation for cracks and gaps, electrical outlets, and water faucets. Inside, you can stand by windows and doors and feel drafts with your hand, but it’s better if you can ‘see’ the air leaks. You can invest in a professional smoke pencil (around $35) or even a Wizard Stick, a science toy that produces fog (around $25). A thin stream of smoke or fog directed toward the window frame makes it easy to spot where the air — and your money — is going.
Plug and caulk holes caused by penetrations such as electrical outlets, and seal leaks around windows and doors using caulk and weather-stripping. Outside, use spray foam insulation to fill holes. Replace window glazing to keep the seal tight.
Fixing air leaks will make your home more energy efficient. You’ll feel warmer in winter, cooler in summer, and, perhaps best of all, you’ll save on monthly utility bills.