According to the U.S. Department of Energy, one third of the heat loss in the average American home is a result of poorly sealed windows and doors. To help keep heat in your house and money in your wallet, use these 7 tips to insulate and weatherproof your doors and windows today.
1. Reseal the gaps around your windows.
Gaps around your windows let cool and hot air out and outside air in, and that costs you money. To seal your window casings, apply a steady bead of silicone caulking to the joints between your window trims (casings) and the wall. While clear caulk works best on painted or stained trim, white caulk blends in well with white windows.
2. Weather strip your windows.
You hopefully already have high-quality, energy-efficient window casements, and you should still be weather stripping them. Use a self-adhesive rubber compression strip or insulation foam on the outside the windows for a tight seal.
3. Lock your windows.
Whether or not security is a concern, locking your windows can save a lot of energy. Locking a casement window will pull the seal tight against the window frame and subsequently reduce drafts, while locking a double-hung window pulls them closer together.
4. Layer your window treatments.
Just as layers can help keep us warm or cool in the winter and summer months, layered window treatments can help trap hot or cold air. Try shades or blinds covered by sheer curtains or heavy drapes to keep the air around your windows trapped.
5. Replace your single-paned windows.
Yes, new windows are expensive, but not as expensive as the cost of heating a home with single-paned windows. Modern and contemporary triple-pane windows are super efficient and retain 75 percent more heat than their single-pane counterparts. If you think you can’t afford to replace your windows, consider instead that you can’t afford not to.
6. Seal or paint your wood doors.
If all the edges of your wood doors aren’t finished, the wood will continue to expand and contract as the weather cools and heats. To prevent cracks and expansion, seal or paint all the edges of a door (including the bottom). You can also use a high-quality, outdoor wood sealant.
7. Use a door sweep to block drafts.
Without a door sweep in place, cold air can easily blow in beneath a door. You can buy pre-made, rubber door sweeps that can be tacked or taped in place, or you can make your own door cozy by stuffing a long, fabric snake with sand and insulation and laying it below the door.