Time: 3 hours
Brr...it’s cold in here. Sounds like the icy bite you feel in the air outside is seeping into your home and making it colder. Before you crank up the heat — and your energy bills — check your home's insulation (including weatherstripping around doors and windows) to make sure you’re keeping the hot air in and the cold air out.
What's in it for you?
- More weathertight house
- Lower energy bills
- More eco-friendly property
How to Stay Insulated in Winter:
Check attic insulation levels: Insulation types vary, but a good rule of thumb is that the insulation covering your attic floor should not fall below the top of the floor joists. If your insulation is less than 8 or 9 inches deep, you should add more to help keep rising heat from escaping your home. You should also make sure loose insulation is evenly distributed over the entire area.
Check wall insulation: If you live in an older home and are unsure of whether your exterior walls are insulated, turn off the circuit breaker and remove an electric outlet box on an exterior wall to check. If the wall cavity is empty, follow up with a home energy auditor or insulation contractor to determine your insulation needs.
Check weatherstripping around doors: If your weatherstripping is cracked or coming away from the door jamb, it's time to replace it. Start by removing your old weatherstripping and purchasing a replacement. Remove any old fasteners or adhesive and clean the door frame. Apply new weatherstripping by pressing adhesive types or nailing fastening types in place for just a few inches, testing to make sure the door can still close and properly compress the seal. Continue along the entire door.
Check windows for drafts: You can repeat the weatherstripping process for windows too, but make sure to use V-channel weatherstripping along the sides of double-hung windows so they still operate well.
Consider plastic storm windows: For older windows, adding a layer of temporary plastic will help keep out drafts as well. Cut shrink-to-fit window film so that it's an inch or two bigger than the window frame all around. Use double-sided tape to secure, then apply heat with a hair dryer until the plastic forms a smooth, tight seal over windows.