Doors and Windows: Seal ‘Em Up!

Photo: iStock

If the winter gust is making you go get your long warm coat and you are inside your home, it is about time you need to make your doors and windows airtight. Drafts will cause you gratuitous high energy bills because they not only let the cold in but also let the heat out.

These tips for doors and windows with air gaps will get you warm and cozy and your heating expenditure down in no time—whether you have old windows that need replacement or newer ones that have some wear.

Winter weather can be unpredictable in some parts of the nation. Two days later, when it is only 15 degrees outdoors with gale-force winds, you are outside without even a sweater. You might not want to seal your windows for six months if you reside in a pleasantly warm climate. The repairs that are listed below will seal up drafts while keeping your doors and windows functional.

Weatherproofing Doors

Photo: Wohomen

Did you know that the perimeter of an exterior door may let in as much air through a 1/8-inch gap as a regular-sized window opened halfway? Apply weather strips to the sides, top, and sweeps at the bottom if you notice drafts around your doors.

Using Barriers on Doors

Photo: The Strategist

Long tubes with a sand filling called “door snakes” are installed at the bottom of doors to stop drafts. Try putting an old counterpane over your door to stop drafts from the outside if a door snake proves ineffective.

Replacing Glaze

Photo: Artan

Your antique wooden windows’ glazing should be checked. Before it gets below fifty degrees, re-glaze any windows that have missing or loose pieces.

Weather Stripping

Photo: Feldco

The most crucial aspect that homeowners tend to forget in winterizing a house is locking the windows. The air leak is closed up by the window locks pulling the sashes together.

You might want to install two locks, preferable to a single one in the middle of your windows that are bigger. This will shut the gap completely across the sash. Pull down your double-hung window’s top sash and install weather stripping through the top edge before locking. After that, tighten the sash as far as you can go before locking.

Covering with Plastic

You may buy window insulation kits online and at your neighborhood hardware store. These kits seal the glass with a plastic film. The kits have plastic sheets that you may use double-sided tape to attach to the jambs. Once positioned, heat the material using a hairdryer. In this way, the plastic will shrink and will appear as if it is an additional glass pane.

Layering Window Treatments

Photo: Blind Galore

The combination of sheer curtains, thick drapes, and shades—hanging on the inside—should be adequate for any weather protection.

Keep everything closed when it’s chilly outside. Raise the blinds, throw open the long curtains, and allow the sunlight in if the temperature is cool (but not freezing) and the room receives direct sunlight to help warm the area. Additionally, a cornice and tightly hung drapes that hug the window limit ventilation by 25%.

You probably won’t mind having windows that are not functional in the winter if you reside in the north and stay inside a lot out of fear of getting frostbite. However, make sure that each room has at least one operable window for safety. Building codes mandate that sleeping quarters and basements have a minimum of one operational exit. While reversible, the following simple adjustments will keep you toasty and free from drafts for the full season.

Filling in the Gap

Use gap filler to close any windows that have openings large enough for a fingertip. Backer Rod comes in several sizes and on a roll to fill substantial gaps. With scissors, trim it after pressing it into the voids.

Applying Caulks

Photo: Loctite

Nothing seals cracks like temporary caulking. It is available on a roll or in tubes similar to ordinary caulk. Mortite Caulking Cord is a roll of clay-like material that you insert into window gaps to block winter winds. Simply take it off to open the window during summer.

Replacing Windows and Doors

The mentioned solutions will get you by if you are not ready to acquire window and door replacement services. You might even want to mix a few of them because doing so will help you keep warm and shield you from the brisk winter air.

But if you feel like saving yourself from the hassle of always performing these fixes and are in the market for energy-efficient replacement windows and doors, then you are definitely on the right track! These windows are made to stop hot or cooled air from leaving your house. Their enhanced insulation minimizes your home’s energy usage—hence, your energy bill—while also enhancing the general comfort of your house.

The majority of consumers dodge the idea that a new front door might save them much money on energy. Despite having a very ordinary appearance, a new door can save you up to 35% of your annual energy expenditures. The reason is that most new front doors are composed of fiberglass. These materials are able to defend your home as effectively as possible because they insulate and offer protection way more than worn-out wood doors.