How To Draft-Proof Windows And Doors For Winter
With a little preparation you can save a great deal on energy bills this winter.
How To Stop Drafts
Drafts entering the home in the winter through windows and doors can not only raise utility bills significantly, but can turn an otherwise pleasant abode into a cold and uncomfortable residence. Draft-proofing windows and doors for the winter begins with assessing if drafts are present and applying the most cost efficient resolution to the individual problem. This can be simply accomplished by wetting the back of your hand with ordinary tap water and then placing it a few inches from a door or window. The water will magnify the feel of cold air, and will let a homeowner know if even the slightest of drafts are present.
When areas of draft have been discovered, it is best to begin on the exterior of the home in addressing them. Latex caulking should be applied to the edges of exterior door and window frames liberally, following the removal of old or failing sealant. It is imperative that caulking be applied to a clean, dry surface to assure a secure bond is formed.
The interior of windows and doors can be most easily draft-proofed by installing weatherstripping, usually made of cork, felt, foam or plastic. This is basically cut to the appropriate length using a utility knife and fastened securely to the bottom and sides of a window frame, and on the sides of a door frame. In cases where the draft is entering the home through the molding surrounding a window, the trim can be gently removed and an aerosol foam insulation can then be injected between the drywall and the window frame. The foam insulation expands making a tight seal, and the interior trim is put back in place.
Drafts entering the home through doors is often attributed to a worn or poorly installed door threshold. If a homeowner possesses the requisite skill a new threshold can be installed - if not, there are a number of commercially made decorative door stops available that stop drafts very well. Another excellent way to draft-proof windows and doors for winter is the cover them with air tight plastic if they are not actively being used. There are several commercially made kits for this task that are both easy to use and reasonably priced.
Perhaps the best manner in which to draft-proof windows and doors for winter is to utilize all of the aforementioned processes in conjunction. By doing so, a homeowner can rest assured that winter utility bills will be of the manageable variety, and reasonable comfort can be maintained in the harshest weather conditions.