How to Stop Cold Air Leaks in Winter This Old House

air sealing or closing of gaps

As winter approaches, homeowners find themselves battling the cold, often unaware that a significant portion of their warmth is escaping through unnoticed gaps and leaks. In this guide, we will explore the ‘how,’ ‘why,’ ‘what,’ and delve into the ‘who is’ of addressing this common issue. Join us on a journey to create a snug and energy-efficient home that stands strong against the chill. Brought to you by Insulation Nation this guide focuses on the crucial technique of air sealing or closing gaps to keep your home cozy and your energy bills in check.

Why Should You Care about Cold Air Leaks

Before we dive into the ‘how,’ it’s important to understand the ‘why.’ Cold air leaks can wreak havoc on your energy bills and overall comfort. When your home is not properly sealed, warm air escapes while cold air infiltrates, making your heating system work overtime. This not only drives up your energy costs but also puts unnecessary strain on your HVAC system, potentially leading to premature wear and tear.

What Constitutes Cold Air Leaks

Identifying the culprits is the first step in addressing the issue. Common areas where cold air can seep in include windows, doors, electrical outlets, and gaps in the walls and floors. These leaks may seem insignificant individually, but when combined, they can significantly impact your home’s thermal efficiency.

Who Is Affected by Cold Air Leaks

The impact of cold air leaks is universal and affects every homeowner. Whether you reside in an older home with aging infrastructure or a newer build, the risk of air leaks is ever-present. It’s not just a matter of comfort; it’s about ensuring that your investment in a warm and inviting home is not compromised by preventable factors.

How to Identify Cold Air Leaks A Step by Step Guide

Now that we understand the ‘why,’ ‘what,’ and ‘who is,’ let’s delve into the ‘how.’ Identifying cold air leaks requires a systematic approach. Begin by conducting a thorough inspection of your home’s exterior and interior. Look for visible gaps around windows and doors, inspect the weatherstripping, and feel for drafts in common problem areas. Pay close attention to areas where different building materials meet, as these junctions are often susceptible to gaps.

How to Seal Cold Air Leaks: A DIY Approach

Once you’ve identified the leaks, it’s time to take action. Insulation Nation recommends a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to sealing cold air leaks. Start with simple solutions like adding weatherstripping to windows and doors. Use caulk to seal gaps around windows and doors, and apply foam sealant to larger gaps and cracks. Don’t forget to check and replace worn-out door sweeps.

For electrical outlets and switches on exterior walls, install foam gaskets to create a barrier against cold air infiltration. Consider using draft stoppers at the bottom of doors to prevent drafts from entering underneath. These cost-effective measures can significantly enhance your home’s energy efficiency.

When to Seek Professional Help

While many cold air leaks can be addressed through DIY methods, some situations may require professional intervention. If your home has extensive air leakage issues or if you’re unsure about the severity of the problem, it’s advisable to consult with a certified energy auditor or insulation contractor. These professionals can conduct a comprehensive energy audit and recommend tailored solutions to improve your home’s efficiency.

Insulation Nation Your Partner in Creating an Energy Efficient Home

As a leading advocate for energy efficiency, Insulation Nation understands the importance of a well-insulated home. Our commitment to helping homeowners achieve optimal thermal performance extends beyond providing quality insulation products. We believe in empowering homeowners with knowledge and practical solutions to enhance their living spaces.


Stopping cold air leaks in winter is not just about staying warm; it’s an investment in energy efficiency and sustainability. By understanding the ‘how,’ ‘why,’ ‘what,’ and ‘who is’ of air sealing or closing of gaps you can take proactive steps to create a comfortable and cost-effective home. Insulation Nation is here to guide you through the process, ensuring that your home is well-prepared to withstand the winter chill. Embrace the warmth and savings that come with a well-sealed home, and make this winter a season of comfort and energy efficiency.

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