How to: Seal Leaks With Weather Stripping
We often think about the little things to save energy – appliance use, turning off lights, etc. But did you know that up to 50% of your electricity bill pays for energy lost through small holes and cracks found around your home? Known as air leakage— it’s the biggest cause of heating and cooling loss. With just a few bucks and a little time, you can quickly fix those air leaks and save hundreds of dollars on utility bills!
Cracks are often found around pipes, door frames, windows and electrical outlets. By applying weather stripping in your home around movable joints, such as windows or doors, you can easily seal air leaks and significantly reduce wasted energy.
Here’s what you need to know:
- First, grab a roll of visible tape (such as a bright colored painter’s tape) and walk around your house to find air leaks (The Energy Department has a quick list of the ways to identify air leaks. Find out more here: Detecting Air Leaks). Once you find air leaks, use the tape to mark their locations.
- As you’re locating air leaks, make sure to measure the perimeter of doors and windows in your home. This measurement will help you determine how much material you will need to seal these locations. Remember to add up to 10% to your total measurement to account for waste during the project.
- When you’re ready to take the next step and purchase materials to seal the leaks, you’ll see there are a variety of weather stripping materials available. Depending on the location of your air leak, some materials may be a better option than others. You’ll want to take into account whether or not the location of the leak is something that will be moved often, like a door or window. Refer to the guide above to see which materials best suit your project needs.
- Once you’ve determined the best sealing option, it’s time to get to work. Most products include step-by-step instructions on their installation and use. Many materials don’t require tools for installation, like door sweeps and foam tape which can fix the problem in seconds! Consider letting kids get involved in the project to help teach them about energy-saving fixes – and create good energy-saving habits for their future.
For other tips and tools to make sure your home is operating efficiently, visit the Virginia Energy Sense website’s ‘At Home’ section. If you’re interested in daily tips, events and news, visit our Twitter feed and follow us @VAEnergySense.