Helpful Home Tips

Air Management to Maximize Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

We are entering the coldest months of the year here in New England. As the temperatures drop, we crank up our heaters and stoke our fireplaces in an attempt to ward off the cold. However, the benefit of a warm home cannot reach its full potential without proper weatherization. Air management is quintessential in maximizing your home’s energy efficiency and making sure that your money isn’t going to waste.

Cold winter drafts are most common in homes that are over 25 years old. While these drafts can happen anywhere in your home, the attic and the basement are the two most common culprit areas. Today we’ll go through each level of your home to help identify cold air infiltration and how to fix it.


  1. Make sure your dryer vent is clean and sealed where the vent meets the wall.
  2. Are your exterior cellar door(s) sealed properly? Does air leak under them/around them? Replace your weatherstripping if necessary.
  3. Bulkhead doors are perhaps the biggest draft-causing culprit in your cellar. Building a wall at the bottom of the bulkhead stairs with an exterior door will prevent heat from escaping your home.
  4. Check along the sill plate (where the foundation and wall come together) for gaps. Use minimal expanding spray foam to fill these areas.
  5. Ensure that the box sill areas (where the foundation meets the upper floor) are well insulated.

Main Floor

  1. Just like with cellar doors, doors on the main floor should be checked for air leaks on the sides and underneath. Replace the weatherstripping if necessary.
  2. Open your windows and clean all weatherstripping. Remove any debris that could be causing separation (and therefore a draft) between the weatherstripping or jamb-liners and the window.
  3. Install foam “draft stoppers” under exterior wall outlets and light switch plates.
  4. Install a door sweep/draft snake to your interior basement/cellar door.
  5. Check bathroom fans to make sure flappers are closing properly and that the pipe is connecting to the vent outside.
  6. Remove A/C units from windows.  For air conditioners built into the wall, cover them up on the interior and exterior of your home.


  1. Are your roof vents clear? In other words, can you see light coming through your Gable, Eave, and Ridge vents? If not, find out why and clear them.
  2. Make sure that your ceiling insulation is spread evenly and deep enough. The placement of insulation can be disturbed by animals or by other means over time.
  3. Is your attic access point (pull-down stairs, skuttle hole, stairway, etc.) well insulated? A poorly insulated attic access point is the equivalent of having a door to your attic that is constantly wide-open.

Keeping air management in mind is an important part of keeping your home energy efficient during the winter months. It may seem a bit daunting to identify all of these drafty problem areas in your home, but air management is ultimately an inexpensive way to save yourself a lot of money (and warmth) in the long run!

All the materials you need to weatherize your home can be found at your local LaValley/Middleton Building Supply.  Find your local store HERE.

Listen to LaValley’s own Bob Jackman explain Air Management by clicking HERE.

Stay tuned for more helpful home tips!

Coming soon! The LaValley/Middleton Blog with great tips from our home experts to guide you through your next building or design project.

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