Nothing beats a warm cozy house in the wintertime. Yet if your home is compromised by pesky air leaks, your heating bill may end up being way higher than it should be. If you would like to learn how to boost your home's energy efficiency, read on. This article will present three tactics for eliminating unwanted air leaks.

Plug up gaps around your attic door.

If you're like many people, your attic likely functions as a key storage area. Many such attics are accessed by means of pull down stairs. Unfortunately, the hatchways of these doors often allow large volumes of warm air to escape into your comparatively frigid attic.

Here's an easy way to determine how serious the problem is. First turn on an attic light. Then come back down, close the stairs, and take a look up at the hatchway from below. Can you see light around the perimeter of the hatchway? If so, it's time to install some compression bulb weatherstripping around the edges.  

Add insulation to your recessed lights.

Though the ambiance they provide is unparalleled, recessed lights also represent a serious threat to the energy efficiency of your home. Not only do these lights vent upward right into your attic, but to make matters worse, they're rarely insulated. The problem is so serious that a recent study concluded that you may be needlessly spending as much as $30 per year for every recessed light in your home.

Luckily, this problem can be remedied by installing a special insulating box on top of each light. These boxes are made out of a naturally derived fiber known as rock wool. Because rock wool is noncombustible, there's no threat of fire. By blocking the flow of air up into your attic, these boxes help retain heat where it belongs--inside your home.

Attend to cracks and holes in the walls of your foundation.

Few people stop to consider the basement as a possible source of air leaks. Yet holes and cracks in the foundation are a common problem. And any air that manages to get through such weak spots promptly gets drawn into your ventilation system, which then has to do extra work to keep your temperature right where you want it.

Concentrate your search around vents, plumbing pipes, and any other fixtures that pass through to the outside of the foundation walls. Cracks narrower than 1/4" should be sealed using silicone caulk. For anything wider, consider using polyurethane spray foam.

For more information, contact a heating contractor in your area.