Winter Tips: How to Get Rid of Drafts from Doors & Windows
Getting through the most bone-chilling days of winter can be hard enough. But when you can’t even get cozy at home, it’s time to take action. On cold and blustery days, drafts of freezing air can get inside your home with surprising ease. Taking action against these unwelcome gusts can help you stay nice and toasty saving you money on heating costs. Here are a few easy and cost-effective ways to remedy a drafty house.
Step 1: Consider Calling a Professional
Some energy companies and local governments offer free inspections to help identify highly problematic areas in your home. If your house won’t heat up yet you can’t find any drafts, it might be time to bring in an expert. However, taking care of drafts is often something homeowners can do on their own.
Step 2: Make Your Plan of Attack
Identify the most likely places in your home that’ll be affected by winter drafts. Starting from the top of the house and working your way down, think about the attic, external walls, doors, windows, fireplaces and the basement. Also consider checking crawl spaces, fire escapes, wiring holes and recessed lighting.
Step 3: Wait for the Right Moment
Pick a day when it’s particularly cold and windy to ensure the draftiest spots have nowhere to hide. Make sure all of your windows, doors and fireplace flues are tightly shut, so that there are no extra disturbances in the air.
Step 4: Set Your Drafts Up in Smoke
Carefully light a stick of incense that’ll give off visible smoke. This will be your best tool in identifying where even the slightest drafts might be hiding. Slowly position the incense near all of your home’s openings, and note any areas where you notice smoke getting sucked out of or blown into the room.
Step 5: Take on the Worst Offenders First
If you notice particularly frigid air in any one spot, take care of these areas first. This will help you save heating dollars quickly while you then tend to the rest of the nooks and crannies. If a lot of cold air is coming from the attic or external walls in the basement, lay down or apply additional layers of fiberglass insulation to trap warm air inside.
Step 6: Fill in the Cracks
Seal cracks or openings around window and door frames with caulk or spray foam. If there are openings near the operable parts of doors or windows, apply weather stripping instead so as to not hinder their use. If there’s a sizable gap underneath your door, place a door draft stopper at the base to keep drafts at the welcome mat.
Step 7: Take Desperate Measures
If you want to take significant steps to prevent drafts in the future, consider updating your doors and windows altogether. Double-pane windows go a long way in keeping cold air out, and they can pay for themselves over time. Expert installers can get this project done quickly without much disturbance to your or your family.
Get a free estimate with Sears Home Services
Step 8: Make This a Decorative Opportunity
Take an otherwise boring home improvement project, and make it a chance to give your house a little more personality. Find heavy insulating blinds or drapes that can be installed or swapped out with existing ones to keep cold air trapped at the windows. If you know drafts are coming in through the fireplace, find an attractive fireplace cover to put in front when it’s not in use.