Stop drafts with these 7 DIY projects

Use these printable resources and videos for professional tips on locating and improving common problem areas.

Get cash back on your DIY project

Nothing beats work done by an Efficiency Excellence Network contractor, but if you plan on doing small DIY projects this year, these will have the biggest impact. Get a rebate to help cover the cost of weatherizing windows and doors, adding storm windows, and sealing air leaks in your attic and basement when you complete 3 of the seven DIY projects on this page.

See rebate

Air seal and insulate the box sill and rim joists in your basement

Impact on Comfort: High

To complete this project: Seal basement leaks (especially the sill plates and rim joists that sit on the foundation wall) to slow air flow. If you have fiberglass in the box sill or rim joist, pull it out, then air seal and re-insulate.

Learn how:

  • Watch 4-minute below video for guidance (02:45: Air sealing smaller holes like sill or rim joist seams, penetrations for water, fuel, or electric lines - 03:06: Insulating band joists)

Build an air tight, well insulated bulkhead door in your basement

Impact on Comfort: High

To complete this project: Install weather stripping around the edges and insulate the door with at least 1.5 inches of rigid insulation. Alternatively, you can replace it with a well-insulated exterior door.

Learn how:

  • Watch 4-minute below video for guidance (01:08: Air sealing a bulkhead door - 01:36: Insulating a bulkhead door).

How to insulate your basement

Watch this video for professional tips on air-sealing and insulating your basement. Locate common problem areas and learn how to seal them. In addition, explore the types of insulation that work best in a basement.

Build or purchase an air tight, well insulated attic hatch

Impact on Comfort: High

To complete this project: Insulate your attic access points to keep the heated air in the home’s living space. Weather-strip around the edges to create a tight seal, and attach at least 6 inches of rigid insulation to the hatch panel.

Learn how:

Spot air seal and insulate your attic

Impact on Comfort: Medium-high

To complete this project: Find air leaks in your attic and seal them. Seal air leaks with a professional quality spray foam gun. Once air leaks have been sealed (common ones include openings made for plumbing and electrical lines), add insulation. If you heat or cool your home with forced air, seal the ductwork and any uninsulated crawlspaces.

Learn how:

How to insulate your attic

Learn where to find air leaks in your attic and how to seal them. The video also explores different types of insulation, and how best to use them to combat the stack effect.

Install a new window, Low-E storm window or panel

Impact on Comfort: Medium-low

To complete this project: Install your storm windows by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Before installing a storm window, caulk the tops and sides (jambs and head) of the original window to ensure it’s airtight (avoid sealing it shut with caulk).

Learn how:

Weatherize windows

Impact on Comfort: Medium-high

To complete this project: Seal around window frames with caulk and weather-strip windows. Add caulking around window casings, fill in unused pulley cavities, and replace cracked panes and glazing compound (caution: do not caulk the window shut). Then add weather-stripping around the edges.

Learn how

Weatherize exterior doors

Impact on Comfort: Medium-low

To complete this project: Apply caulk around the frame, and apply weather strips to the door jambs. Check that you can open and close the door easily. Install a door sweep at the bottom to prevent strong drafts.

Learn how:

How to air-seal your home

Finding and sealing air leaks is an easy, low-cost way to make your home more comfortable and save on heating and cooling costs. Watch this video for professional tips on how to seal problem areas such as windows, outlets, and doors.

Get cash back on your DIY project

Efficiency Vermont offers rebates to help cover the cost of select DIY weatherization projects.

See rebate