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 videos. For even greater savings, consider hiring a professional who can address health and safety issues with proper ventilation. Either way, we recommend pairing air-sealing improvements with other weatherization upgrades to get the most out of your efforts.

  • An average home saves $375 per year in energy costs
  • Reduce drafts and increase comfort for residents, employees, and customers
  • Pair air-sealing with insulation and other weatherization upgrades for more impact

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 addition to air sealing, there are other low-cost ways to keep moisture out. 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.

* Because spray polyurethane foam insulation is activated and cures on site, it should always be installed by a qualified professional. Some occupants may be sensitive (or could become sensitized) to certain components of spray polyurethane foam insulation, either during application or afterwards. Prior to application, talk to your contractor or medical professional, and research the various insulation products available to determine what is appropriate for you, your home, and your specific project. If you choose to have spray polyurethane foam insulation applied in your home, talk to your contractor about how long you should be out of your home during and after application (usually 24-72 hours).