Winter in the Northwest can be long, dark, and cold (like you needed the reminder.) Evenings are best spent cozied up with a book and a cup of tea. But if the cost of keeping your house cozy is running you dry, you might need an insulation upgrade. According to the EPA Energy Star, you could save $200- $400 a year on heating and cooling by sealing all those nooks and crannies along with adding insulation. Luckily for you, you can find everything you need at Home Depot.
From caulking windows to weather stripping doors, check out these three simple steps to getting your home winter-proof, reducing energy bills, and keeping you cozy all winter:
Step one: Insulate.
According to the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, roughly 90 percent of homes in the United States are under-insulated. With those odds, chances are your home is one of them. But if insulating your house sounds like a huge undertaking, it’s actually not. The key places to check are your attic, flooring, walls, and basement.
Let’s go top-down and start with the attic. The Environmental Protection Agency has identified attic leaks as one of the main sources of high energy bills in America. Good news is, you can do an attic check and complete a DIY insulation upgrade in one afternoon, without breaking the bank. First, assess the situation. Head to your attic and make a note of your current insulation, by taking pictures to show a Home Depot retail associate so they can best assist you. A rule of thumb is if the insulation is level with, or below the floor joists, you probably need to add more insulation.
Next, head to The Home Depot for a wide selection of energy-saving insulation that you can install on your own. Try the Green Fiber Low Dust Cellulose Blown-In Insulation to create a thermal blanket to lower energy costs and reduce noise. Or check out Owens Corning AttiCat PINK Expanding Fiberglass Blown-In Insulation System to save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling bills.
Of course, you’ll need the right machine to get the job done. Home Depot has got your back for that too. You can purchase the FiberForce -Wireless Fiberglass/Cellulose Insulation Blower with Standard Removable Hopper for big projects. Home Depot also has free 24-hour blower machine rental when you buy your insulation in bulk, usually 10 or 20 bags.
For those pesky leaks around the attic stairs, look no further than the Owens Corning Attic Stair Insulator Tent Cover. There’s no assembly required—just unpack and place over your stairwell.
Now let’s assess the rest of your house. You’ll need to upgrade the insulation in your floors, basement, and walls to start seeing real energy savings. Luckily, you’ve got lots of affordable and easy-to-install options at The Home Depot. The Owens Corning R-15 EcoTouch PINK Kraft Faced Fiberglass Insulation has pre-cut widths for easy installation. Or apply Knauf Insulation R-30 Kraft Faced Fiberglass Insulation Batt 16 in. x 48 in. to ceilings and floors to increase the comfort of your home. This insulation fits easily around joints and studs to give exceptional thermal and sound control. Another option, the Owens Corning Thermafiber Fire and Sound Guard Mineral Wool Insulation, can be added to any interior wall, is mold-resistant, and designed to provide acoustic control and fire protection.
Step two: Seal the gaps.
Another easy and cost-effective way to weatherize your house this winter is by sealing the shell of your home (places like doors and windows). Caulking and weather-stripping are two simple and effective air-sealing techniques that offer quick returns on investment. In fact, the average home has enough air leakage to add up to a two-foot square hole - that’s like leaving a window open all day! Seems like a no-brainer to get that fixed for these cold days, and start seeing energy savings right away.
One inexpensive, fast air sealing solution is GREAT STUFF Window and Door Insulating Foam Sealant Quick Stop Straw. For windows, doors, and skylights, this minimal-expanding foam with a low-pressure build forms a durable, airtight and water-resistant seal. GREAT STUFF Gaps and Cracks Insulating Foam Sealant with Quick Stop Straw’s new Quick Stop straw technology stops those messy foam drips and insulates small gaps inside or out. Another great product, Loctite Tite Foam Insulating Foam expands and seals those gaps and cracks upon application. Paintable, sandable, and stainable, this insulating foam will be your houses secret weapon against those high energy bills. Frost King E/O Indoor Window Insulation Kit increases your windows R-values up to 90 percent. A shrink film and heavy-duty tape will stop those winter drafts in their tracks.
Finally, it’s time to plug up those cracks around your doors. This is the easiest installation of them all! For a seriously low-cost and low-effort upgrade, just add some weather strips to your outer doors. Like the Frost King Brown Double Draft Stop, which slides easily under any door and prevents dust drafts and insects from entering your home. Made from high density closed cell PVC foam, the M-D Building Products Weatherstrip Tape self-adheres to doors or windows to create an airtight seal. Or, keep heat in with 84 in. Platinum White Collection Door Weatherstrip Replacement. Guaranteed never to crack or peel, its super seal will provide your family with year-round comfort.
Step three: Call a pro.
If you have a few needs that extend beyond your DIY skills (like a full-blown window replacement), enlist The Home Depot’s certified professionals. The Home Depot offers local, licensed and insured professionals to get the job done right.
How do you know when you’re due for a window replacement? Windows that have started to rot, sag, or fog over are good indicators that it is time to switch to something new and energy efficient. You can even schedule a free in-home consultation, and The Home Depot will send an authorized service provider to your home. For real savings, think about installing an Energy Star efficient window in your home.
Once confirmed, the Home Depot-certified service provider will come to your house and perform an inspection. This is a worthwhile investment that will help identify and fix small issues, saving you energy and money. These professionals are local, licensed and insured, with The Home Depot performing background checks on all providers. Plus, new windows offer many benefits like lower maintenance, energy savings, and easier cleaning.
Find your energy savings this winter when you shop top-branded insulation at The Home Depot. With easy-install insulation, weatherstrips, and sealant, you’ll be staying warm and saving money through the cold months ahead.