Ensuring there are as few gaps as possible for indoor hot air to escape and cold outdoor air to get in reduces the heating load in a home. Air sealing an old or especially drafty home can reduce heating and cooling needs by up to 40%. It will also make you much more comfortable. So air-sealing your home is a crucial part of weatherization, making your home less drafty, more comfortable, and most importantly, more energy-efficient.


Tips On How To Air Seal Your Home

Efficiency Vermont | 3 min. 18 sec.

Vermont and Massachusetts have a similar Northeast climate. See a demonstration of how to air seal your home’s windows, doors, and electrical outlets.

Short-term fixes you can do yourself

Doors and windows are frequent culprits in a leaky home, so filling gaps between your house and your windows and replacing the rubber seals around door frames are low-hanging fruit for air-sealing.

  • Windows: use caulking, weatherstripping, or a combination of both to fill gaps where air is leaking into your home. Learn how to put weatherstripping on your windows.
  • Doors: If you feel cold air leaking in through your door(s) in wintertime, add weather stripping around the top, sides and bottom. It’s important to seal any leaks that might let in outside air and make your home cold and drafty. Adding weather stripping will close off any leaks and reduce air flow from the outside. Be sure to check doors you don’t use as often, such as those that lead to unfinished basements or attics. Many times they are not as insulated as your front or back door, letting air from unheated spaces into your home.

Long-term fixes a professional may recommend

When you schedule a no-cost Home Energy Assessment with Mass Save®, their home energy professionals will include an evaluation of your windows and doors, recommend additional upgrades, and coordinate services with weatherization contractors, if needed.

Homeowners may also hire a professional called a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) rater to test with blower door and infrared camera, which both provide a more thorough energy assessment and more energy saving opportunities. This level of evaluation costs $500 – $1000 and is not included with a typical home energy assessment. A HERS rater may also have advice on weatherization contractors who can complete additional work that may be recommended.

Window replacement

If you have single-pane or older double-pane windows, replacing your windows or adding storm windows will reduce heat loss through them. Interior or exterior storm windows, double-pane windows, and triple-pane windows are good options to consider when making a window upgrade.

If you replace single pane windows with triple pane windows that are ENERGY STAR® certified for Climate Zone 5, you can get a rebate of $75/window through Mass Save® and can finance up to $25,000 of the expense using Mass Save’s® 0% HEAT Loan. When purchasing replacement windows, check that they include a low-emissivity (low-E, which refers to a surface condition that emits low levels of heat energy) coating on inside of the innermost plane rather than the inside of the outermost pane. A low-E coating on the innermost pane is more effective in reducing heat loss in our cold climate and will save more money than a low-E coating on the outermost pane, which reduces heat gained from the outside in the summer.

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