Real estate

Tips for winterizing your home

Weatherizing your home
Hotfoot it, then chill out
Controlling airflow

Home insulation typically encloses primary living spaces, creating an envelope of thermal protection against adverse weather. Making your home resistant to outside temperatures also requires sealing air leaks inside and out. Some sources of leaks in your home’s thermal envelope:

Seal it

Plug holes and cracks that let warm air out and cold in.

1. Seal cracks with caulking on interior and exterior window and door trim work.

2. Seal air leaks with weatherstripping where windows and doors meet their framework.

Using spackling, cover old nail holes.

Outlet boxes allow warm air to escape outside. Consider adding insulation covers.


An extra thermal barrier and air sealing will make your home comfortable and save energy.

Warm air travels upward, allowing heat to escape through the ceiling, even if insulated. Consider adding more insulation to your attic. A total of at least 12 inches of insulation is recommended.

Complete your thermal envelope by keeping cold basement air from creeping in. Insulate with batts that fit in between the floor joists.

Keep hot water pipes from losing their heat by insulating them with pipe wrap.

System control

Make the equipment in your home work for you.

In the winter, reverse the motor and operate the ceiling fan at low speed in the clockwise direction. This produces a gentle updraft, which forces warm air near the ceiling down into the occupied space.

If you have a forced-air heating system, replace your filters so it operates efficiently.

Consider installing a programmable thermostat to keep your heating costs down.

SOURCES: US Department of Energy; Energy Star; Mass Save; Next Step Living

Chiqui Esteban, James Abundis/Globe Staff