November 10, 2015  How to Save Energy and Money This Winter by Caulking

Contributed by Kelly Mahan,

For many homeowners, the fall and winter seasons mean a sharp increase in monthly bills due to heating costs. Did you know that a typical family wastes about $350 of their annual heating and cooling costs on improperly sealed doors and windows? If you’ve noticed an increase in your bills lately, it’s time to check your doors and windows for cracks and gaps and brush up on your caulking skills. Caulking around your doors and windows is one of the easiest DIY ways to save energy and money this winter. 

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First, check the wood around your windows and doors to find any gaps or cracks that you’ll have to fill with caulk. If an entire window frame or door frame is heavily cracked or has gaps all around, you should replace the entire frame. You can use a screwdriver to gently prod around the wood to find any gaps that are difficult to see.
For the best results, use a high-quality caulk, preferably silicone. You can determine how much caulk you’ll need by reading the back of the caulk package or you ask a clerk at your local home improvement store to help you determine how much you’ll need. Use a foam filler on any major gaps or gouges before applying the caulk.

Before you apply your new caulk, you need to remove the old layer of caulk. Use a small putty knife or small razor to scrape away at the old caulking. Wash away any debris or loose bits of caulking. Let the doors and windows dry completely before applying your new caulk.

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Plan to do your caulking on a moderate, dry day. Use heavy-duty scissors to cut off the tip of the cartridge at a 45-degree angle. Then use a nail to puncture the seal on the tip. If you’re new to caulking, start applying your caulk in areas that won’t be easily noticed until you get the hang of it.

Once you’re finished caulking, you can reuse the nail that punctured the tip to seal any remaining caulk.Caulking around your doors and windows will help keep your home cozy during the winter and help cut down on your heating and cooling bills. Just as you wouldn’t walk around in a blizzard with tears in your winter coat, you don’t want your home to lose heat or have drafts due to gaps around your windows and doors.

Article written by Kelly Mahan, also a writer for, a company that connects homeowners to reliable, affordable and professional contractors for their home improvement projects. Check more on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.