Thinking Green

How to Prevent Heat Loss and Gain in Your Home

By: Danny Lipford

Up to 40% of the heat loss or gain in a home is due to leaks in the thermal envelope surrounding the living space. To save energy, make sure the attic has plenty of insulation, and fill any cracks or gaps around windows, doors, plumbing pipes, and HVAC lines. Installing foam gaskets behind switch and outlet covers is another good way to reduce air infiltration in your home.

Video Transcript

There’s nothing green about paying bills unless you pay them online or if the company provides recycled envelopes. But, you know, there’s another envelope you should take a close look at, and that’s the thermal envelope of your home, which is your living space. It’s important to have proper insulation; otherwise you’ve got a problem with your envelope. Up to 40% of a home’s heat loss or gain is due to leaks. Insulating the attic is only the start. You need to make sure all gaps around windows and doors are sealed. The areas around plumbing pipes as well as heating & cooling lines also need to be sealed. And don’t forget about any electrical switches and outlets on exterior walls. You’d be surprised at how big of an energy loss they can cause. Simple gaskets can take care of them and it’ll be one of the cheapest improvements you can make.


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6 Comments on “How to Prevent Heat Loss and Gain in Your Home”

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  • peterbrown Says:
    July 3rd, 2019 at 6:29 am

    Great idea. How to control heat and temperature for safety for our home. Very nice suggestion.

  • Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    December 16th, 2008 at 10:02 am

    Hi Lizt,
    Start by insulating any pipes that might be exposed to freezing temperatures using slip on, foam pipe insulation.
    Install insulated foam faucet covers on all outside faucets.
    When experiencing a hard freeze, drip any faucets that have the plumbing located on outside walls.

  • lizt Says:
    December 15th, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    I live in a two bedroon single story house with stucco exterior with no instillation. I rent. We are expecting below freezing temperatures with very windy conditions. I am afraid the pipes will freeze if we loose any power. I do not have alot of money. What could I do to prevent the water pipes from freezing. Please any helpful suggestions would be very appreciated. Thank you kindly. I did enjoy your video, would like to learn more.

  • Adell Frey Says:
    December 3rd, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Thank You for the great short video re: The envelope” of my house! I have a question I have old blown in insulation in my home’s attic which has decomposed a little. I was told here in So. CA to use batts of R-19 and lay on top. The 23″ wide batts lay too high? I can’t find anyone to do the work but me. Do I remove some or restuff around the plumbing and vents? I sure would appreciate your advice. Sincerely, Ms. Frey

  • John Cannamela Says:
    December 2nd, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    John, as a former guest on the Danny Lipford show you can see some great tips from a window show we did in Maine. All condensation is from water popping out of the air and cooling on a given surface.So your windows are cooler than the air which allows them to collect condensation. What air?
    The air in your dry warm house is hitting the cold outside air at some point. This point is the air infiltration at the window. Seal the window.You have a gap somewhere.

  • John Says:
    November 22nd, 2008 at 9:13 am


    I have a problem here in Maryland were it’s not getting cold and with the heat pump maintnance completed. I had noticed that there is condensation around the inside of the windows and metal frame and around the ledge and window meet. What causes this and how can I seal it up?

    John Rafalko

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How to Prevent Heat Loss and Gain in Your Home