Sealing Drafts

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, air leakage through a home’s holes, gaps and cracks is the single largest cause of residential heating and cooling loss, accounting for approximately 30 to 50 percent of the energy used in most homes. In fact, if you were to add up the multitude of places where air escapes in the average home, such as around windows and door frames, you’d have the equivalent of a 16-foot air-escape hole in your home!

For a few dollars you can tackle many of those pesky leaks with a product like Dow’s GREAT STUFF, a sealant that can close the gap between you and energy savings. This insulating foam expands to take the shape of any void, forming a permanent, airtight and water-resistant seal that protects your home from outside elements, pests, and allergens while reducing condensation and noise pollution. Apply it around window and door frames, electrical outlets, plumbing lines, under siding and in the basement. Once it’s cured, GREAT STUFF can also be trimmed, painted, sanded and even stained to give your project a finishing touch.

Inexpensive and easy to use, GREAT STUFF insulating foam comes in three varieties, including Gaps & Cracks, Big Gap Filler, and Window & Door. I also like the product’s website, where an Interactive House displays many common enegy leaks and a Handyman Challenge game identifies the energy dollars you can save by sealing each hole. See

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