DIY vs. Hiring a Contractor

DIY opportunities to improve air sealing include weather-stripping windows and doors, attic hatches, and pull-down stairs. For more tips on air-sealing common infiltration points, watch our How-To Video . For even greater savings, consider hiring a professional who can address health and safety issues with proper ventilation. A good place to start is with an energy assessment for your home or business. Connecting with a qualified contractor arms you with clear recommendations for either DIY improvements or a complete weatherization.

Types of Air Sealing Products

Air sealing covers a range of products, from basic spray-foam to high-tech air barriers used in new construction and gut rehabs. Caulking and weather-stripping are the workhorses of air sealing: inexpensive and good at blocking drafts from windows, doors, and cracks. For wide gaps, such as those around basement windows, use a one-part foam gun (different from spray-foam insulation, which covers large areas and should be installed by a professional).

Tips to Reduce Moisture in Your Home

In addition to air sealing, there are other low-cost ways to keep moisture out of your home. Most important, dry out the basement. This often involves installing gutters and improving the grading around your foundation to divert groundwater and roof runoff. Seal off any crawl spaces and cover dirt floors with polyvinyl sheeting. Check to make sure your clothes dryer is properly vented. And use a dehumidifier, which can help remove moisture.