Insulation Tips and Tricks

Money-saving hints for improving insulation in your home.

If you've got drafty windows, you can place shrink-wrap film over the window opening to reduce the energy loss. Here's how:

1. Locate the draft by using a lighter and a hair dryer. Have a partner stand outside and blow a hair dryer toward the window. Light a butane lighter, and move the flame around the corners of the window. If the flame begins to flicker, you've got a draft.

2. Begin shrink-wrap installation by applying double-stick tape all the way around the window. Peel off the backing to expose the adhesive.

3. Attach the film to the tape, stretching it all around the window opening. Be sure the film sticks firmly to the tape; otherwise it might pull loose when you begin heating it.

4. Use a hair dryer to heat the film. Keep the hair dryer moving so you don't overheat any particular area. As the film gets warmer, it will tighten up until the wrinkles disappear. Trim any excess film with a utility knife.

Another way to minimize drafts is by insulating the electrical outlets and switches on the outside walls. Turn off the power to the outlets at the circuit-breaker box, and remove the outlet covers. Insert a foam insulating plate ,and replace the cover.
Another source of drafts is the gap between the window molding and the siding on the house. Use silicone caulk (clear or paintable) to seal the gap.

Use freeze caps to protect outside spigots in the winter months. Some models are affixed semi-permanently to the house.

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