The best way to start saving energy is to search for air leaks within your home. Start by inspecting windows and doors and any place with cracks in the structure of the house. Use caulk to repair small cracks or spray foam insulation for larger cracks and holes. If a window pane is loose, you can fill in the seal with window glaze to tighten the pane.

Weatherstripping is a simple and inexpensive way to improve the seal on your windows and doors from inside your home. Rope caulk, a clay-like sealing product, and clear plastic film can also be installed around windows during the winter and removed in the spring. If your home has ductwork, you can use mastic sealant or metal tape to seal any possible leaks.

Blower door test

In this video: See how a blower door can provide information to help you pinpoint air leaks throughout your house.

Finding air leaks in older homes

In this video: Home preservation specialist Bob Yapp doesn’t believe the myth that you can’t make an older home energy efficient.

He suggests thinking of an older home (or any home) as a chimney. Heat is rising through the building … as it does in a chimney.

The first and best defense is make sure your attic is insulated properly. And then, you should prevent the infiltration of cold air by eliminating openings where it can slip in through the home’s exterior envelope.

Plug leaks with caulk, weather stripping and expandable foam. Then you’ll prevent the chimney effect from robbing your older home of its energy efficiency.

Infrared camera

In this video: We use a high-tech camera to find the leaks around this house.

Sealing air leaks in your home

In this video: Air leaks around outlets and light switches can be sealed by installing foam pads behind the outlet plates. Caulk can also be used to seal around the edges of the outlet and child safety covers can plug the holes. Air leaks around windows can be sealed with a clear latex caulk which is easy to clean up for inside projects. A door seal sweep can be placed along the bottom of a door to stop drafts from entering your home. Insulating window film can be placed on windows to cut down on the sun’s glare and deflect heat during the summer. The film is not permanent and can be removed seasonally.

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Spray foam insulation does a great job of sealing up cracks and crevices, if it's installed properly. Learn more about open-cell spray foam options.

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Don't overlook these important elements when you're upgrading your insulation.

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Weatherizing tips & tricks

Caulk gun

Use this checklist to make sure you don't overlook hidden energy wasters in and around your home.

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Weatherizing materials

Man caulking around window

A typical home will need about $50 in weatherizing materials - and the cost can be paid back in energy savings in just a few weeks.

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