Seal air leaks

Why? In most homes, if you add up all the air leaks, the impact on your energy use is similar to leaving a window open. Air sealing is one of the most cost-effective measures you can take to improve your home's comfort and energy efficiency. You can save up to 20% on your heating and cooling costs.
Do it yourself: Using affordable supplies from a local home improvement retailer, you can seal air leaks yourself.

Doors:

  • Reduce air leakage at the bottom of exterior doors. For a no-cost solution, use rolled-up towels.
  • Install sweeps at the bottom of exterior doors. Sweeps are generally plastic or metal strips that you apply to the bottom of the door.
  • Install low-cost compressible foam. This creates a tight seal around the door. Don't forget to seal doors into unheated areas of your home, such as the garage.

Windows:

  • Seal windows. Use rope caulk or compressible foam, which are very inexpensive.
  • Install weatherstripping. The cost for this is slightly higher, but still reasonable. Plus, this is a more permanent solution. See this chart for the pros and cons between different types of weatherstripping.

Wall gaps and cracks:

  • Use caulk and/or polyurethane foam appropriate for the surfaces you plan to seal. Check the label for its best uses and whether it is appropriate for indoor or outdoor use. Some caulks are specially designed for small leaks along the edges of walls. Foams are more appropriate for larger gaps and holes. See this chart on selecting the appropriate caulk.

Hire a professional: Consider hiring a professional to perform air sealing work. Certified home energy auditors can identify air leaks in your home using techniques such as a blower door test or thermal camera imaging.

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