When fall and winter hits, returning to a warm, cozy home is one of the best things to look forward to after a long day out of the house. Nothing is more frustrating than losing your warmth due to drafts through doors, windows, and walls.
In addition to leaving your abode chilly, this raises your energy bill and can allow excess moisture to creep in, leading to bigger (read: costlier) problems in the future. Luckily, there are lots of simple ways you can prevent drafts, and keep you and your home warm during the chilly months.
If your pesky draft is coming from a window or door, try sealing it with a weatherstrip. This is an easy and inexpensive way to quickly solve the problem, and you can find them at your local hardware store.
Weatherstrips are plastic or foam strips that seal gaps to prevent air from coming in or out. Simply pull off the adhesive back and apply it on top of the cracks, it's that easy. Just keep in mind how the door or window opens to ensure the strip won't get in the way.
Foam tape is similar to window strips, it also has an adhesive back that you remove and stick on the problem area. You can purchase an entire roll of foam tape and cut it to the lengths you need to fill cracks. Some foam tape even expands to tightly fill any awkward cracks in doors, windows, and walls. One application usually lasts one to three years.
If your draft is coming from a window, try applying a window film. It looks exactly like saran wrap and is pretty simple to install by yourself — or with a friend if the window is big. All you need to do is stretch the film so it covers the entire window, then heat it to seal it to the glass using a basic blow dryer. Now you have an extra layer over your window keeping that annoying cold air out.
Of course, this option won't work if you still want to open your window sometimes, and it will likely need to be repeated each cold season.
Let's face it, a lot of drafts tend to come in through windows and doors in any way they can. The bottom of the door is a sneaky way cold air can creep in and ruin your cozy, warm living room, and weatherstripping doesn't work so great here. But there are options!
A door sweep attaches along the bottom of the door and blocks air from coming in and out. Many have soft, broom-like bristles that will fully block that gap without scratching the floor every time you open and close the door. A DIY option we've seen around for taller gaps: a pool noodle cut to size and then cut open. Slide it down the length of your door and voila! Cheap, colorful draft-blocker!
Want the easiest, quickest solution to stopping a door draft? We present the door snake. This handy weighted fabric tube is a must-have in your house if you have a door draft you need stopped ASAP. You can even go DIY and just roll up a bath towel into a cylinder and place it in front of the bottom of your door.
This might not work for doors you consistently open and close, like your main entry, especially since you can't replace it when you're outside. However, some attach to the door so they slide along with it.
As time goes by, the caulking on your windows and doors tends to peel or chip away. This is a perfect entry point for chilly air. Re-caulking your windows and doors is super easy: caulk and guns are available at any hardware store. Make sure to remove the old caulk first so you get a good seal with the new, then pipe around the area like you're icing a cake!
Extra thick, multi-layer curtains will help your home retain heat in the colder months and keep air from coming and going, although it is not a tight seal like some previous solutions. There are also thermal blinds available if those work better for your window or aesthetic. As a bonus, these blinds and curtains are usually blackouts, so they'll keep the sunlight out of your bedroom, facilitating those lazy Saturday mornings.
Fitting a cover over the keyhole in your front door is a small but efficient way to help keep drafts out. Any small area can allow cold air to seep in and run up your heat bill, so you might as well take every precaution you can. Keyhole covers can also add a cute decoration to your entryway.
Any carpet or rug you already have on the floor is helping keep your heat in. To go an extra step, you can add an underlay below the carpet. Some carpets have built-in underlays, but you can purchase one on its own for even more insulation. They come in different materials and sizes, so you just have to find one that fits your rug size.
Nobody likes walking around on a cold floor or wearing slippers all day, and an underlay will help keep your toes warm all winter long.
There are a few ways you can fix cracks in your walls depending on how serious and where the crack is. If it looks like a wide, deep crack, it is best to get a professional to come and look at the damage.
For smaller, shallower cracks, you can fill them in using concrete or a hard-setting filler which will stop any draft from coming in. This process is similar to re-caulking around windows, and it's fairly simple to do them on your own, assuming they're safely accessible.