I have a slab home with oil heating and my living/kitchen area gets really cold and I believe I'm burning more oil than necessary. There is a big difference in temperature in my bedroom, which is on the same floor. The bedroom is warmer. The living/kitchen area is an open floor area with recessed lighting in the kitchen. There appears to be a draft coming from the lighting as well as windows and some doors. What is the best insulation, caulking methods to use to solve this?
This can involve several potential problems. Recessed lighting 'cans' are bad for leaking air and may have little or no insulation around them. There are several types available: 1) Older plain type with air leaks and can not insulate closer than about 6 inches (very bad for insulation), 2) Newer 'IC' class where you can place insulation 'in contact' with the can (better) , and 3) The 'IC Air Tite' class that allows insulation in contact and does not have air leaks (best). Of course, the Air Tite models need only be used where the air will leak outside the living area (attic) but not needed in a basement application where the air leak will still be inside the living areas. May have to consider building a 'box' around these fixtures to seal them and enable insulation to be placed around & over them. Check local codes first to be sure this is OK. The door may just need new weather stripping but you need to pin down the exact areas of the leaks. The windows may be more of a problem. Different types of windows leak air worse than others. If the window itself is leaking air, may have to consider storm type windows over them to get a better seal. If the air is leaking around the sides of the trim (not the window itself), you may have to remove the trim and insulate all spaces with the newer slow expanding foam made just for windows. Most hardware stores will carry this. Good Luck