As winter’s bite endures, you can weatherize your home to stay warm, to save money and to save energy.
For many homes, air leaks into our homes through doors, around windows, floors, fireplaces, ducts, vents, electrical outlets and plumbing, to name a few. By taking simple, low-cost steps to seal up these leaks, i.e. weatherize, you can save money, increase your comfort and save energy.
For example, a tube of caulk and a caulk gun can effectively seal leaks around windows. Simply clean the work space around the window and add caulk into any cracks and gaps. A small piece of window tape can cover up cracks in your window panes, where air leaks through, until you can fix or replace the pane at a later date. Rubber tubing can be inserted into cracks and crevices around windows and doors to stop or slow down drafts. Foam backer rod can be used around doors and in gaps in floors. Of course, plastic film secured over windows will keep down drafts as well. These tools cost very little at the hardware store.
Make sure work surfaces are clean and dry before you start. Test different supplies to see what works best. There is no right or wrong way to weatherize. If it stops air from coming into your home in the winter and stops cool air from escaping your home in the summer, it’s a good thing.
If you are interested in an energy audit or energy efficiency upgrades, you may call 1-855-9-IMPACT. They offer one-stop assistance from ComEd, People’s Gas and other agencies focused on energy efficiency. Community Weatherization Action Teams (CWAT’s) educate the public on low cost weatherization and distribute free weatherization kits to Chicago residents.