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Draftproofing checklist: Four spots to seal up in your home

Preventing drafts in your home is a great way to prevent heat loss and save energy. Your energy bill can increase by two or three times in the winter since you're spending more time indoors, using more indoor light and turning on the heat in your home. Draftproofing is easy to apply and can be purchased from most home improvement stores.

Here are four of the most common heat-escaping spots in your home to seal up.

1. Window and door frames

Any gaps or cracks around your windows and doors are prime spots for cool air to creep in. Luckily, foam and v-seal weather stripping are your draftproofing heroes.

Weatherstripping works by creating a barrier between a door or window and its frame when it’s closed. V-seal is great for sliding windows, and foam is a champion inside door frames. You can pick up enough foam stripping for your front door from your local home renovation store for just $5. If you're not sure what to do, check out Dave's DIY video for sealing up those cracks.

The bottom of exterior doors can also be a big offender, but a door sweep is an inexpensive way to block the cool air that can seep in. You can find a range of door sweeps at most major home renovation stores for as little as $9.

2. Light switches and electrical outlets

Light switches and electrical outlets are sneaky spots for heat loss. Luckily there's a simple trick to keep that warm air in. If you've got a plug or switch on an external wall, you'll want to pick up some foam gaskets. These are little foam pads that are specially made to fill the gap behind your switch cover. This simple fix will stop heat from escaping through the switch plates.

These foam gaskets are pretty inexpensive, costing around a dollar each. It's best to focus your efforts on exterior switches and outlets as well as those in your basement, as this is where the most heat is lost. For a little help, check out Dave's DIY video for installing foam insulation pads.

3. Old windows

Natural light helps you save energy on lighting, but your windows can be a big heat loss culprit. Luckily, window insulating film can help. If you have older, single pane windows, this is a great solution for you. By applying the film, you add an extra layer of insulation, sort of like having a double-paned window.

How to apply insulating window film

  • 1

    Clean your windows and the frame.

  • 2

    Apply double-sided tape all the way around the frame.

  • 3

    Measure the height and width of your window, and cut the film a few inches larger than that to make sure it will overlap on every side.

  • 4

    Pull the film across the frame and press it onto the tape. It should be straight, but make sure not to stretch it.

  • 5

    Using a blow dryer on the hot setting, slowly make your way back and forth, careful not to stay in one spot for too long. The film will begin to shrink and tighten, and soon enough you'll have a clear, relatively wrinkle free surface.

4. Air ducts, vents, pipes, and cables

Drafty gaps can occur anywhere a pipe or cable enters your home. Take a look at where air ducts, vents, pipes and cables enter or exit and use caulk or spray foam to fill the gap for a tight, draft-blocking seal.

With these simple, low-cost tips for big energy savings, how can you lose? Keep your house warm, your costs down, and your home comfortable all year long. The best part? You can do it yourself!