Keep the warm air in and the cold air out by stopping leaks
Now that colder winter weather is upon us, it’s time to think about the best ways to stay warm without breaking the budget on high energy costs. In Part 1 of the ‘How to Winterize Your Home’ series, we provided details on getting your heating systems ready for the colder months ahead. In Part 2 below, we’ll cover how to keep warm air from leaking through doors and windows and keep that cold air outside. Then, we’ll move onto Part 3, winterizing your landscape, sprinkler systems, pool, and home exterior.
Leaking air is the enemy
According to energy.gov, air leaks are a primary culprit for wasted energy and can decrease a home’s energy efficiency by 5 to 30% a year. Fixing drafty doors and windows now is a great start to energy-saving warmth this winter.
Below, we’ll cover a few DIY tips to help get you started, but you may also want to consider an Energy Audit from a certified Home Energy Professional. A professional audit can help you detect leaks in your home, as well as provide information on other ways to save energy including insulation and appliances. For CoServ customers, CoServ will conduct a free on-site energy assessment to help pinpoint where energy dollars are being wasted. For a more detailed report, CoServ also offers a blower door service for $75.
Winterizing windows and doors
Feel a draft coming from exterior doors and windows? A few simple tricks could help you save big and stay cozy.
Start by checking the weather stripping on doors and windows. If you feel a draft, or see daylight through the cracks, it is time to replace. Weather stripping is fairly simple to replace and can be purchased at your local Home Depot or Lowes.
Next, check the trim around the windows and doors – both inside and out. Gaps as small as 1/64 inch can let in drafts, bugs and runoff water. Grab your caulk gun and re-caulk the entire edges to ensure a leak-proof seal.
Home Depot suggests using a silicone caulk for the exterior of your windows and doors to keep pooled water out and using a latex caulk or expandable foam on interior seals.
Winterizing other areas prone to air leaks
In addition to windows and doors, leaks can also be found in other areas. Check these and re-seal as needed:
- Electrical outlets
- Recessed and can lighting fixtures
- Electrical and gas service entrances
- Fireplace dampers
- Attic hatches and vents
- Wall or window-mounted air conditioners
- Cable TV and phone lines
- Dryer vents
- Interior and exterior vents and fans
- Gaps around pipes and wires
How to check for air leaks
A professional blower door service conducted by a certified energy specialist is the most thorough and accurate method of detecting energy-wasting air leaks.
However, there are a few other tips to help homeowners detect air leaks including:
- Shine a flashlight at night around potential gaps- you will need the help of a partner to spot any light beaming through the other side
- Shut a door or window on a dollar bill- if you can pull out the bill with ease, you are losing energy
- Hold a candle next to potential gaps and observe how the flame is pulled or changes direction
- Hold your hand over the area- this is easy enough to detect on cold or windy days, but may not be as obvious on other days
Addressing air leaks in your home can help you cut your energy costs and stay warmer this winter. But, before it gets too cold outside, keep reading Part 3 of the series for tips on how to winterize your home’s exterior and landscaping.
Need a professional to help winterize your Frisco home? Give us a call at 469-634-0932 and we’ll help locate a certified expert for your needs.
About the Judi Wright Team
Judi Wright/The Judi Wright Team is a real estate group specializing in the suburbs of Frisco, Plano, and surrounding areas. Named the “Best Realtor in Dallas,” by D Magazine twelve times and a Five Star Realtor with Texas Monthly. Judi is also a Company-Wide Top performer with Ebby Halliday and the #2 Top Group for Ebby Halliday Frisco.