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Home in Autumn

Photo: Dan Zen

Sealing out the scent of growing plants, warm breeze and chirping birds never crossed your mind in summer. But the wind is distinctly chillier now and it’s getting colder by the day. The wind has gone from a fresh friend to a pushy pal blowing into cracks and is costing you in energy efficiency.

Here’s how to stay warm and improve your home energy savings.

Applying Weatherstripping to keep the heat in

A lot of emphasis in weatherproofing and reducing energy costs by conserving heat is placed on replacing and fixing insulation around the home.  Replacing weatherstripping is just as important. Insulation keeps the heat in. A few tiny gaps in windows and doors are enough to chase that precious warmth out.

Start in the obvious places like doorframes and windows. Give the door or window a rattle and look to see if sunlight sneaks through. If it does, you’ll need to replace the weatherstripping.

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Next move to smaller openings like mail slots and air conditioner mountings. Duct openings and attic latches are also good spots to check. Perform the light test and adjust as you need to. If you think the stripping is a bit frayed, err on the side of caution and replace it. Don’t forget about crawl-spaces and other odd little ends of your house.

Caulking and Foaming for Energy Efficiency

Caulking your home from the cold to reduce winter energy costs has never been easier. There are many brands of spray foam that are cheap to buy and easy to apply. Seal up cracks with the quickly penetrating and expanding foam. It makes air sealing a simple DIY project that you can get done in seconds.

Check areas where caulking has been applied around vents, windows and other openings. If you can feel air movement, just replace the old caulking instead of adding on top of it. In areas like window wells, make sure you don’t cover up places where water needs to drain.

The more traditional method of caulking is also pretty easy and will keep leaks at bay. Silicone, or polyurethane caulking is the standard choice but more eco-friendly versions are becoming available. Ask at your local hardware store which products are best to seal your home and be green.

Taking the time to test the sealing of windows, doors, and other openings will not only provide more comfort, but also help keep money in your account.

It is a great investment for a future sale and will prevent the elements from wearing down the value you of your home.

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.