5 Ways To Weatherize Your Home
Weatherizing you home is a great way to stay warm and save on utility bills during cold winter months. From caulking to pipe installation, we rounded up five easy, inexpensive ways to weatherize your home. Here’s what you’ll need for these quick, money-saving tasks:
- Felt-tip Marker
- Bread Knife
- Wood-scrap Board
- Caulk Gun
- Utility Knife
- Hair Dryer
- Adjustable Wrench
- Tubular Foam Insulation
- Self-sealing Tees & Elbows
- Duct Tape
- Paintable Caulk
- Insulating Window Film Kit
- Self-stick Rubber Foam Strip
When taking on this DIY task, be sure to equip yourself with the proper safety gear. Throughout the video, we’ll alert you regarding when you should and should not use the safety gear.
Insulate pipes. Insulating your pipes will keep them from freezing and possibly bursting during cold weather. Start by installing self-sealing elbows and tees. Position each on the pipe, pull off the backing strip, and push the self-adhesive edges together. To cut a tube to size, hold it in place, draw a cut line with a felt-tip marker, and use a serrated bread or steak knife to saw through the foam. For straight runs, hook your finger into the tube’s lateral slit, pulling along the length of it to open. Slip the insulation onto the pipe. For a complete seal that keeps insulation in place, secure the joints with duct tape.
Caulk windows. Caulking windows is an excellent way to prevent your home’s heat from escaping while keeping out the cold air. Begin by scraping away loose paint and caulk with a putty knife. Old caulk can be tricky to remove. If you encounter any tough caulk, score it a few times with the utility knife to release it. When you’re finished, brush away any dust and debris and wipe the area clean with a rag. Using a utility knife or the nipper built into your caulk gun, cut the tip of the caulk tube at a 45 degree angle and cut a hole in the nozzle just slightly bigger than an eighth of an inch. Gently squeeze the caulk gun trigger until the nozzle fills with caulk. Holding the gun at a 45 degree angle, squeeze the trigger while smoothly placing the nozzle along the crevice, using your putty knife to remove excess caulk as you go. Wet your finger or a rag, and use it to achieve a smooth concave finish.
Install window film. Window film is another great way to keep your home warm and save money on energy bills. Before installing it, make sure your window is shut firmly and locked. Then wipe the window frame with a clean rag.
Place one side of the double-sided mounting tape around your window jamb or moulding. Cut it a bit longer than you need. Then trim to fit. Once you have it in place, run your finger along the tape to ensure it fully adheres. Peel off the tape’s outer protective strip from all four sides of the window. Hold it up to the window and cut a piece a few inches larger than needed. Lightly attach the film along the top of the window. Hold the film securely as you press one side, then the other onto the tape, finishing with the bottom. Don’t worry if anything goes askew. Just pull off the film and try again. Once you’re satisfied with placement, run your finger along the tape to ensure it fully adheres.
You’ll set the film with a hair dryer. Check instructions for the proper heat setting and how far the dryer should be from the film. Start at one corner, working your way down and across the film as it begins to shrink. Do this a couple times, gradually bringing the film to drum tightness. Once you’ve sufficiently shrunk the film, lightly cut along the outside of the tape and peel away excess.
Apply weatherstripping. Weatherstripping your doors is another way to keep warm air in your home and cold air out. Start by removing any dust from the edges of your door frame with a clean rag. Use scissors to cut a piece of weatherstrip a bit longer than needed. Without removing the adhesive backing, set it in place and trim so it fits along the top edge of your moulding. Remove an inch or two of backing and set the stripping into one corner. Stretch and adhere into place.
Turn off outdoor faucets. It’s important to turn off all your outdoor faucets before cold weather sets in. Locate each of your outdoor faucets and detach all hoses. If you have to use an adjustable wrench to remove your hose, be sure to firmly grip the faucet body as you crank on the hose connection. You’ll find shut off valves for your outdoor faucets inside your house near each associated outside wall. Turn each to the off position. Then open the spigot to let any remaining water run out. We recommend leaving the spigot open through the winter in case the shut off valve leaks. Be sure to drain your garden hose completely before storing as well.
Your weatherization is complete!