In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva shows how to save money and stay warm by plugging up energy-wasting gaps, holes, and cracks. Learn how to seal windows and doors for winter in the steps below.
How to Seal Windows for Winter
- For windows that you won’t open until spring, seal them shut with temporary caulking, which you can press into place, and easily peel off when winter is over.
- To block cold air from blowing in around an electrical outlet, remove the cover plate and press a soft-rubber gasket over the outlet. Replace the cover plate.
- Use minimal-expanding foam to fill holes and gaps around all wall penetrations, including holes for cables, vents and pipes.
How to Seal Doors for Winter
- Install a door sweep along the bottom of exterior doors to block out cold air.
- Seal gaps between the door and side jambs with long pieces of weather stripping.
- Always engage the sash locks on double-hung widows to close the gap along the meeting rail. Consider installing two sash locks on wide windows.
- Stick a continuous length of adhesive-backed foam weather stripping to the top edge of the upper sash on double-hung windows. The soft foam will compress to fill air-leaking gaps.
- Use foam-rubber backer rod to fill large gaps where the lower sash meets the sill. Force the backer rod into the space between the sash and stool.