Smart ways to retain heat in your home this winter

Scarf around house

You wouldn’t leave a window open in the middle of winter with your heating system cranking, would you? That’s basically what happens when you leave air leaks untreated in your southwest Iowa home.

That’s right: the average American home leaks an amount of air equal to a four-foot hole in an exterior wall through spaces around windows and doors, and through the walls in its attic and crawl spaces.

That’s why fixing air leaks is one of the best bang-for-the-buck investments you can make in your home. But how and where should you treat your space? Here are some considerations.

Weatherization Checklist

Use this list as a reference of the many places to check for air leaks around your home. For more information, see the U.S. Department of Energy website.

Exterior windows and doors

  • Check for and repair/replace loose panes and broken glass
  • Caulk around windows and doors frames
  • Weather strip and install door sweeps on exterior doors
  • Seal windows with weather stripping or rope caulk


  • Install foam weather stripping around attic door edges
  • If you have a chimney, seal around it with a high temp sealant and metal flashing
  • Caulk around plumbing vents that pass through that attic floor and ceiling
  • Seal gaps between the attic and living spaces with expandable foam or insulation


  • Seal gaps between the attic and living spaces with expandable foam or insulation
  • Seal and insulate accessible ductwork
  • Caulk around basement windows and external-facing doors
  • Seal holes and gaps around foundation walls using caulk or foam sealant

Living spaces

  • Install foam gaskets behind electrical plate covers on exterior walls
  • Seal cracks and gaps where floors meet exterior walls
  • If you have a wood-burning fireplace, close the damper when it’s not in use


  • Use caulk and expandable foam to seal gaps around penetrations through the home’s exterior shell, including HVAC, plumbing, electrical and water lines
  • Caulk around all door and window frames
  • Make sure your dryer vent cover works; if not, replace it
  • Seal gaps where building materials meet, such as between brick and siding

If you want a more precise evaluation of air leak problem areas in your home, consider investing in a professional home energy audit.

Want to know the best way to stay warm all winter long? Make sure you have a reliable supply of propane. Contact us today to schedule a propane delivery, or to become a Pelgas customer.