Drafts can be a big problem for homeowners, greatly reducing their enjoyment of their homes as well as increasing energy costs by a significant amount. To prevent these pesky drafts we must first locate the likely culprits. These include any openings in the walls or ceilings such as:
- Mail chutes;
- Utility connections;
- Exhaust fans; and
- Dryer vents.
As well as any place two different building materials come together like:
- Along the foundation; and
- Window frames.
Properly insulating your doors and windows is an easy and inexpensive project that most people can easily accomplish.
Easy-to-use and inexpensive, self-adhesive weather stripping is available at most hardware or home improvement stores. Simply follow these instructions to prevent drafts from your doors:
1. Measure the height of the doorway.
2. Cut two pieces of weather stripping to this length (1 for each side).
3. Measure the width of the door and cut a piece for the top.
4. With the door open, peel the backing off the first strip and press it along the inside of the jamb or stop moulding.
5. Repeat this procedure with each of the other two strips.
For the bottom of the door you will need a sweep. This is a vinyl or felt backed metal strip that seals the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor.
1. With the door closed, measure and cut the sweep to the width of the door.
2. Remove the door from hinges and lay flat so you have easy access to the bottom edge.
3. Screw the sweep to the bottom edge and reinstall the door.
Congratulations! Your doors should now be draft-free! Let’s move on to those windows, shall we?
Self-stick weather sealing is also available at hardware and home improvements stores. Depending on the style of your windows, the method for insulating them will be slightly different.
1. Cut strips of foam to fit the top, bottom, and both sides of your window.
2. Peel off the backing of the first step and press into place between the window and the stop moulding.
3. Repeat this procedure with the other three pieces. When the window is closed, this weather sealing will prevent air leakage.
1. Measure and cut foam to fit the bottom of the sash.
2. Remove backing and apply so that that sash rests on the foam when the window is closed.
3. Cut 2 strips of v-channel insulation about an inch longer than the height of the side channels.
4. Open the window and work the strips between the sash and jamb on each side.
5. Cut one more strip of the v-channel insulation and apply it to the back of the sash, even with the top, with the V facing upwards. When closed, this strip will compress to form a tight seal.
If you continue to have draft problems after performing this maintenance work, it may be time to consider some new, properly installed windows or doors!