The average home can lose 30 percent of its heat through small openings in walls, windows and doors. Sealing those gaps can help retain warm air and lower your heating bills by as much as 10 percent. Here are some easy and inexpensive ways to plug your homes energy leaks:
- If you have storm windows, install them.
- Install the storm glass instead of the screen in a combination storm door. If you don't have a storm door, get one.
- To quick-seal an older, single-pane window, apply an interior storm window kit of plastic shrink-wrap film. Use a hair dryer to tighten the film.
- Repair and replace any broken window or door glass.
- Outside the house, use caulk to seal gaps that are 1/2 inch or smaller; use expanding foam to fill wider openings. Seal cracks around doors, windows, water spigots, the dryer vent, pipe and electrical penetrations in the siding, and where the siding meets the foundation.
- Inside, apply weather stripping around windows and doors. If you have a pull-down attic door, weather-strip around the inside of it, too.
- To seal the gap at the bottom of an exterior door, replace the threshold with a new one that has a vinyl insert, which acts as a gasket between the bottom of the door and the floor.
- Insert foam gaskets behind electrical outlet cover plates.
- When the fireplace isn't in use, close the damper to keep heated air from escaping up the chimney.