As the temperature begins to drop, drafts may become more noticeable in your home. This can cause your home to be colder than you’d like, and the chilly temperature inside may require your heating system to over work in order to compensate for the cold air blowing in through cracks around windows and doors. To help reduce drafts, be sure to utilize these 5 caulking and weather-stripping tips for homeowners.
- First, you need to determine where weather stripping is needed. You can do this in a few different ways. If it is dark outside, turn of indoor lights and have a friend stand outside. While they are outdoors, shine a flashlight around the edges of the door. If your friend can see the light through cracks around the door, the gap is too big and is likely allowing cold air to come into your house. Another way to test is to slip a dollar bill under the door. If the bill fits, then air can also pass through and you will need weather stripping.
- Next you will need to decide what kind of weather stripping you want to use. Usually the simplest weather-stripping options to use are the adhesive-backed foam styles. Instructions will be included and the directions are quite simple. Follow the instructions for placement around windows and doors to eliminate the most drafts. You may also choose a felt nail-on option however these weather-stripping choices are a bit more difficult to use and les user friendly.
- Another more effective upgrade option is to use a rubber gasket variety instead of foam. This gasket is flexible and compresses around the edges of windows and doors in order to seal all cracks and openings that may be letting cold air inside. Some use an adhesive backing while others use nails or staples to attach.
- You can enhance your weather stripping effectiveness by adding a door sweep under your doorways. This will seal out drafts coming from underneath an exterior door in your home. These attach to the bottom of a door with screws or adhesive and are also helpful to keep out dust, dirt and other outdoor debris for a warmer home with better air quality.
- Another way to reduce drafts is to use a caulk. You can purchase indoor or outdoor caulks at your local hardware store or home and garden center. To caulk properly, first you will need to find any gaps, cracks, or holes around your window frame. Once you have identified these areas, clean them thoroughly to reduce dirt or dust that may have accumulated for a better caulk application. Once clean, you can apply the caulk liberally and then use a flat edge to remove the excess for a smooth finish. You may use your finger to ensure that caulk gets into hard to reach places. Then, simply let the caulk dry and enjoy the result–a draft free window frame!
Instead of closing rooms to save energy, reducing drafts will allow you to keep your entire home warm, without wasting energy or costing too much. In order to best prepare your home for the cold winter months ahead, be sure to prep your windows and doors properly to help reduce drafts and keep your home toasty and warm all season long. All of these tips will ensure that your home is completely sealed off so that chilly air does not slip in from underneath the door or through cracks around your window frames. These home improvement projects will help you to cut down on your energy bill costs, reduce waste, and most importantly stay comfortable inside your home.