I spent Sunday afternoon winterizing my basement. About 30% of a home's heat escapes through small cracks and holes that are not always easily detected. Sealing your home can translate into an annual household savings of 5-30% on the cost of fuel bills. One of the best ways to keep your home heating costs down is to winterize the house by insulating your pipes, insulating your water heater, making sure there aren't any gaps in your ducts and filling any cracks leading to the outside with expanding foam.
The major issues in my basement are the copper pipes, the ducts and cracks to the outside. I bought pipe sticks to cover my pipes in the basement. Last year was the first year that my pipes in the kitchen froze and I don't want it to happen again since freezing pipes can lead to a burst pipe and flooding in the basement.
There is one area where the return vent ductwork is in bad shape. I pulled down the bad piece, stuck the shop vac in the duct to clean it out and then rehung the ductwork. Here is what it looked like before:
Next I wiped down my ducts and started closing gaps with foil tape. The results aren't always pretty but heat won't escape the ducts anymore!
I also started filling in small gaps around wires that lead outside with insulating foam sealant so cold air won't enter the basement through these small gaps anymore.
Next up is to attach a door bottom seal to the back door, use weatherstrip seal around all exterior doors to ensure a tight seal, apply insulating socket sealers to the few sockets I didn't do last winter, and turn off the water to the exterior spouts and cover with my faucet covers.