If you’ve been thinking of ways to reduce ever-rising energy costs, then you know that weatherproofing your home for winter is a must.

While the most common areas to check for energy inefficiencies are your windows and doors, buildings can have lots of sneaky spaces that act as a heat sink, stealing precious heat from your hard-working furnace and letting cold air back into your home.


The list below will help to guide you to doing a full energy check in your home and making sure that all these little spaces where air escapes are covered. While these drafty spots may seem small or isolated, if there are multiple places then the amount of energy escaping multiplies as well.

How to do an Energy Check

Special tools are not required to do a visual energy inspection, which makes this task easy enough for any skill level. To complete a full air leak inspection, you’ll want to look at both the exterior and interior of your home.


On the exterior, it’s important to inspect all the areas where building materials meet such as:

  • All exterior corners
  • Outdoor water faucets
  • Where siding and chimneys meet
  • Areas where the foundation and the bottom of exterior brick or siding meet


Because the joints in any area of the home are the weakest points, these areas are most likely to experience some kind of damage through normal wear. These areas are also the biggest culprits for allowed conditioned air to escape.


Since construction projects on the exterior of your home can require some expertise, it’s best to consult with a professional about any exterior repairs. Try your hand at fixing any small exterior holes and cracks with DAP Platinum Patch Advanced Exterior Filler, which creates long-lasting, weatherproof protection.


For the interior, inspect the following areas for any cracks, gaps, or air flow you can feel:

  • Electrical outlets
  • Switch plates
  • Door and window frames
  • Electrical and gas service entrances
  • Baseboards
  • Weatherstripping around doors
  • Fireplaces
  • Attic hatches
  • Wall- or window-mounted air conditioners
  • Cable TV and Internet lines
  • Where dryer vents pass through walls
  • Vents and exhaust fans


Any area of your home where a hole was created in the wall is a potential space for air leaks. For example, your local cable TV installer had to drill a hole in the wall to pass cable from your home to the power lines outside. While this hole is small, if it wasn’t sealed properly it’s just like having a window open a crack.


Take note of all the areas that will need to be sealed as you do your energy check. Some fixes require simple tools such as a sealant for your window and door frames, while other spots may require more specific tools.


How to Weatherproof Like a Pro


Weatherproofing these other areas of your home is still an easy DIY home improvement project. To tackle these other areas, there are specialty weatherization products you can buy or think about how air is escaping in these areas and seal them up. A few common examples of overlooked areas are attic entrances and basements.


Attics are notorious heat sinks in the winter since warm air rises and attic entrances are usually not well sealed. If your home has an old attic hatch, consider purchasing a cover for the winter. These covers help to insulate the door and prevent air from escaping up and out.


Attics are also typically unfinished, meaning they have poor insulation. To prevent heat from leaving your home straight out of your roof, insulation in the attic should be at least 5 inches thick.


Basements are difficult enough to keep warm in the winter, but if the basement has a poorly insulated door or no door at all it will become nearly impossible to keep at a comfortable temperature.


Adding a properly insulated door and keeping it shut while the furnace is running will help keep heat downstairs. To insulate an interior door use a clear silicone sealant around the door frame and add an under door seal to make the door airtight. Utilizing spray foam in the basement is also necessary to insulate your home and protect it from other outside elements.


Baseboards are another area that is often forgotten. The purpose of a baseboard is to seal the gap between your floor and your walls. With time, these can get damaged or come loose and now there is a break in the seal. Using the appropriate sealant around broken or drafty baseboards can increase the average temperature in a room quickly.


Making any other major areas in your home air tight may require special tools like a fireplace cover or outlet covers, but these investments in your home can pay for themselves over time.

Other Areas to Consider

Now that a full energy check is complete and the building is air tight as can be, there are a few other areas to focus on that won’t necessarily help with energy costs but will make living through the winter more comfortable.

  • Insulate water tanks: Hot water running through cold pipes will take longer to heat up. By insulating the tank and pipes, hot water will be available faster and for longer.
  • Change air filters: The recommended length of time that your air filter is good for depends on the air filter and the number of people and pets in your home. However, with heavy furnace usage it’s best to replace the air filter a few times a winter.
  • Air conditioning units: Both window and standing units should be covered outside to prevent snow and ice build-up.
  • Disconnect hoses and turn off outdoor water access: Storing your hose and turning off water access ensures that the water won’t freeze inside the pipes and burst in the walls, which is a problem no one wants to deal with.


Adding these little projects to your yearly home maintenance schedule will make winter a much more comfortable time of year.


With these tips, you now have an A-Z guide on how to check and weatherproof your home. Doing these checks for air leaks every year can really help to keep your energy costs down in the long run, but these simple steps will also help with the overall quality and maintenance of your home. Weatherproofing is a win-win all around!