Preventing drafts in your home is a great way to prevent heat loss and save energy. Your energy bill can increase by two or three times in the winter, since you’re spending more time indoors, using more indoor light, and turning on the heat in your home.
1. Window and door frames
Any gaps or cracks around your windows and doors are prime spots for cool air to creep in. Luckily, foam and V-Seal weatherstripping are your draft proofing heroes.
Weatherstripping works by creating a barrier between a door or window and its frame when it’s closed. V-seal is great for sliding windows, and foam is a champion inside door frames. You can pick up enough foam stripping for your front door from your local home renovation store for just $5. If you’re not sure what to do, check out Dave's DIY for sealing up those cracks.
The bottom of exterior doors can also be a big offender, but a door sweep is an inexpensive way to block the cool air that can seep in. You can find a range of door sweeps at most major home renovation stores for as little as $9.
2. Light switches and electrical outlets
Light switches and electrical outlets are a sneaky spot for heat loss. Luckily there's a simple trick to keep that warm air in. If you’ve got a plug or switch on an external wall, you’ll want to pick up some foam gaskets. These are little foam pads that are specially made to fill the gap behind your switch cover. This simple fix will stop heat from escaping through the switch plates.
These foam gaskets are pretty inexpensive, costing around a dollar each. Its best to focus your efforts on exterior switches and outlets as well as those in your basement, as this is where the most heat is lost.
3. Old windows
Natural light helps you save energy on lighting, but your windows can be a big heat loss culprit. Luckily, window insulating film can help. If you have older, single pane windows, this is a great solution for you. By applying the film, you add an extra layer of insulation, sort of like having a double-paned window.
Installing window film is a great DIY for your home. All you have to do is clean your windows and the frame, then apply double-sided tape all the way around the frame. Then, you’ll want to measure the height and width of your window, and cut the film a few inches larger than that to make sure it will overlap on every side. Once you’ve got your film cut, you’ll need to pull the film across the frame and press it onto the tape. It should be straight, but make sure not to stretch it. Next, use your blow dryer on the hot setting and slowly make your way back and forth, careful not to stay in one spot for too long. The film will begin to shrink and tighten, and soon enough you’ll have a clear, relatively wrinkle free surface.
4. Air ducts, vents, pipes, and cables
Drafty gaps can occur anywhere a pipe or cable enters your home. Take a look at where air ducts, vents, pipes, and cables enter or exit, and use caulk or spray foam to fill the gap for a tight, draft-blocking seal.
Simple, low-cost tips for big energy savings – how can you lose? Keep your house warm, your costs down, and your winter happy!