How To Seal Air Leaks And Warm Up Your Older House This Winter

Older homes have a way of being drafty and cold. In turn, this can cause you to turn up your heat when the temperatures outside drop. This sort of inefficiency can lead to high energy bills. Sealing air leaks in your house can help mitigate the problem and reduce your energy costs. Here's how it's done. 

Beef Up Your Attic Insulation

Your home might have been insulated to the standards of the time when it was built, but those standards have probably changed with time. Many homes are much more heavily insulated today than they were several decades ago.

As a general rule of thumb, if the insulation in your home doesn't reach over the top of the floor joists in your attic, you probably don't have enough insulation. To find out how much insulation is enough for your zipcode, use this Insulation Calculator on the Department of Energy website. While some homeowners are comfortable adding more insulation themselves, this is a big project that can take a full day to complete. If you don't have time or aren't comfortable with DIY projects, contact a professional to add more insulation to your attic. 

Seal Your Windows and Doors

If your windows and doors are original to the house, or if they haven't been replaced in a few decades, you're probably due for an upgrade. Replacing your windows alone can save you over $500 per year on energy costs. However, if you're like many homeowners, you may not have the money to invest in all new windows and doors at this time. 

Luckily, there are other ways that you can seal your windows and doors. Weather stripping is commonly available at home improvement centers and hardware stores. Installing weather stripping on all windows and doors can prevent drafts from entering your home by tightening your home's outer shell. In addition, replacing old, cracked caulking around your old windows can also help prevent air leaks. 

Seal Your Basement

Basements let cold air into your home all winter, but you can prevent some of the entry of this cold air by sealing the area where the cement foundation meets the wooden supports for your home. To do this, examine the area between the cement foundation and the rim joists for cracks. Use a line of silicone caulk to seal any space between the rim joists and the cement blocks. 

For more information about how you can seal your home's shell and prevent the entry of cold air into your house, consider getting an energy audit. An examination by a professional energy auditor can reveal all the ways in which your home wastes money on utility bills. Talk to experts like Alaska Quality Insulators Inc, for more information.