My resolution is to caulk all around where any air can enter, expecially around doors and windows. Seeing how my house is almost a hundred years old, I would also like to seal around some electrical outlets that leak cold air.
This is a great first step into saving energy and becoming more comfortable in your home! As a BPI energy audit firm this is one of the many items we suggest that the owner do for themselves. Although it can be a bit tedious doing this chore, it will pay you back in big was. Air movement and not lack of insulation is one of the biggest robbers of heat energy in a home.
Now I am going to give you some more real good suggestions that will pay you back even more then just outlets, windows and doors. That is the mud sill area in the basement or crawl area of the home. Also the top plate in the attic.
First we will discuss the mud sill This area is guilty for allowing cold air into the wall system from the basement and quite often from the outside of the house. This is the exact area in which the siding in most homes stop. And so does the house wrap they installed when they sided the home.
If you have insulation in this area, pull some out. Look at it. Is it dark and dirty looking? Bet it is. That dark staining is trapped dust that has be filtered out of the air as it blows past cooling your home down. You want to remove this insulation and using spray foam in a can seal all the gaps between the sill, the floor, and any other spaces that you can see. These openings are going to be fairly small, but you will be amazed on how much air is moving through them. Do each one. Then replace this old insulation with a new 2 inch thick foam board that you can purchase at any of the home centers. Once that is done, use the foam in the can once again to seal this board into the opening as tight as it can be. If you want then replace the older fiberglass stuff to give you even more R value.
By doing this you have in effect shut off the air supply from the basement to the attic area. This will also slow down any drafts that you normally feel at the outlet locations.
Check all wire openings and pipe openings within the basement area. Seal these off using fire-proof foam. This is sold again at the home centers. Every hole you seal in the basement is one less draft on the floor above. Check around the chimney area. However sealing this is a bit different. You do not want to foam this space. Instead you need to use sheet metal and screw this into the framing that surrounds the chimney then use the fire proof foam to make this tight. There is a lot of air moving up that chase area.
Now that that is all done, move up into the attic area. Find every wall area and pull up the insulation over them. Using the foam in a can seal every exposed stud where the sheetrock on the ceiling ends. All wires and pipes as well. Do not forget to do the chimney the same way you did the basement end.
If your successful in doing this you can lower your energy bill on the average of at least 15% or more. Which depends on just how careful you are when sealing. You will be amazed on the difference it makes in the house and in your pocketbook. The cost that you spend will be made up within a few months on the typical home just in energy savings alone.