9 DIY projects to help you keep warm this winter

3 min read

There are lots of steps you can take to make your home warmer during the winter. You can start with projects you can do yourself to stop wasting heat. As a bonus you will also feel more comfortable.

DIY weatherization: Get started in the basement and attic

Attics and basements are particularly prone to air leaks. This means warm air escapes your house and cold air comes in during the winter. In the summer, you’ll let cool air out and bring in the heat. Here are some DIY projects to help button up your home:

  1. Air seal and insulate the box sill and rim joists in your basement (follow the link for a video and printable instructions)
  2. Air seal leaks in your foundation wall (common problem area of stone foundations)
  3. Build or buy an air tight, well insulated bulkhead door to your basement
  4. Build or buy an air tight, well insulated attic hatch for your attic
  5. Air seal and insulate visible cracks, joints, and seams in your attic (follow the link for a video and printable instructions)

How to insulate your basement.

How to weatherize your attic.

Tighten up your windows and doors

Windows and doors are another vulnerable spot in your house. It’s important to make sure they close well and don’t let in drafts when they are closed. It’s typically more cost effective to weatherize around your windows than to replace them. Try these solutions before considering replacement:

  1. Weatherize exterior doors and windows using weatherstripping and caulk (follow the link for a video and printable instructions)
  2. Install storm windows to block winter air (or consider WindowDressers)
Find other spots to button up

There are a few other common heat loss culprits around your house:

  1. If you have a ducted hot air heating system, air seal your ducts to make sure heat is moving through them (rather than leaking out)
  2. If you have a hot water heat system, add pipe insulation around hot water pipes to help keep the water hot as it travels

Professional tips on how to air seal your home

Watch this video for tips on how to seal problem areas such as windows, outlets, and doors.

Reminder: Keep track of your expenses as you go. These projects are all eligible for Efficiency Vermont’s DIY rebate.

When to go pro to save energy

DIY projects are a great way to tighten up some clear problem spots in your home. But they may not result on significant energy savings. If you’re ready for serious savings, you’ll want to look for a weatherization contractor that is trained and certified through the Building Performance Institute (BPI). If you want to maximize your comfort and your energy savings through weatherization, it’s probably time to talk to the pros.