Weatherstrip windows and doors
The edges of doors and windows are often not sealed well, allowing cold air to seep into your home or air conditioning to escape. Windows and doors can be responsible for up to 25% of heat loss and gain in a typical home. Weatherstripping your windows and doors will help reduce this leakage.
Do it yourself: Using affordable supplies from a local home improvement retailer, you may be able to seal your windows and doors yourself. You can usually complete the work within a day or two, making this an easy weekend project.
- Reduce air leakage at the bottom of exterior doors. For a no-cost solution, use rolled-up towels. Or:
- Install sweeps at the bottom of exterior doors. Available at most hardware and home supply stores, sweeps are generally plastic or metal strips that you apply to the bottom of the door.
- Install low-cost compressible foam. This creates a tight seal around the door. Don't forget to seal doors into unheated areas of your home, such as the garage.
- Caulking. Visible gaps between door trim and the wall should be caulked.
- Seal windows. Use rope caulk in smaller gaps (between the window trim and the wall) or use low expanding foam in larger gaps. Both options are very inexpensive. Or:
- Install weatherstripping. The cost for this is slightly higher, but still reasonable.
Hire a professional: Get estimates from at least three contractors before making a decision.
For renters: If you rent your home, you may still want to consider some form of weatherstripping. Check with your building management before adding something permanent. Temporary solutions may be your best option. For a temporary solution, consider rolling up towels and pushing them against the bottom of exterior doors during the colder months to prevent heat loss. Peel-able caulking is also an option.
Hidden leaks: The biggest leaks and sources of heat loss in your home are typically hidden air leaks in your attic and basement. A home energy assessment will help identify the sources of these drafts in your home. Find more information on do-it-yourself draft-proofing from Natural Resources Canada.