Winter is here, and after seeing your power bill you may be wondering what can be done to save energy this winter. One of the biggest ways to save energy is to make sure your home is well-insulated and sealed so that heat can’t get out and cold air can’t get in. Cracks and tiny holes are the biggest loss of heat in your house. A 1/16th inch crack around a window can be like having a 3-inch hole in your wall! The less heat you use, the less you pay out, and then the more you save. Here is our advice on how to air seal your home so that you can save energy this winter and reduce your utility costs.

Expanding Foam

If you’re trying to seal up leaks around windows or doors in your house to save energy this winter, there are a number of products you can try. Expanding foam is good for large leaks and cracks. This is typically used around plumbing fixtures where there’s a gap between the pipes and the wall. One caution: you should always wear rubber gloves when doing this because the expanding foam will stick wherever it’s applied. Protect the area around you with by laying down some newspaper and always wear gloves to keep it off of your hands.

Caulk and Backer Rod

Caulk is something you can use on windows to seal up small cracks. First, purchase the right kind of caulk for your needs. Read the label to see what it says about where the caulk can be applied. Load it into your caulk gun, push the trigger handle up, then cut the tube of caulk at an angle. Push the handle and move the caulk away from you up through a crack.

If you have large cracks, you may want to apply Backer Rod first. Backer Rod can be put into cracks that are too wide to be filled with caulk. Cut a piece off and press it into the crack. You can then apply caulk over it if necessary. This will prevent a lot of air infiltration, especially cold air that comes in around doors and windows. Backer Rod is also a good product to use in the basement if you have cracks between the sill plate and the foundation. You can also put in a few layers of caulk rather than putting in one large glob that will dry very slowly. Instead, it tends to work better if you apply a few thinner applications. 

Rubber Foam Weather Seal

Rubber foam weather seal is a product that’s sticky on one side and prevents air infiltration. You can apply this to one side of windows or door frames, and then peel off the other side so it sticks on both sides. This works as a nice gap-filler around leaky windows or doors and helps you save energy by preventing cold air from entering your home.

Foam Insulation

If you have electric outlets, you can put foam insulation behind the outlet. You can purchase this at most hardware stores. Turn the power off, take your outlet cover off, fit the foam insulation behind it, and then put the outlet cover back on. Child-safe socket inserts not only protect your kids from electric shocks, they also help keep cold air from coming into your home.

How Thermal Imaging Can Help You Save Energy this Winter

By using these materials to keep warm air inside your home, you can save energy this winter and money on your heating bill. The best way to find out which areas of your home need to be sealed or insulated is to hire a home inspector who performs infrared thermal imaging. With an infrared camera, areas of heat loss that are not usually visible can be detected. Contact Elevated Home Inspections today if you are in need of Infrared Thermal Imaging or our other home inspection services. Request a quote or an appointment time online!