Saving money on your energy bills can be a huge benefit, especially around winter time. With constantly fluctuating energy prices, aging doors and windows, and household budgets possibly getting tighter, any amount saved on your energy bill is a plus.
Weatherproofing can help lower your energy bill as well as improve the comfort of your home. Cold winter drafts aren't always comfortable when you are trying to curl up in bed and fall asleep. Good weatherproofing can help you stay warm in the winter while simultaneously lowering your energy consumption.
Where Are the Drafts?
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends doing a visual inspection of your home first, looking for common areas that might experience drafts. Windows are one of the key areas you should focus on.
First, perform a visual inspection of your house inside and out. Look for areas where old caulk is starting to crack. Check for wear and tear around your windows. This will help you determine places that will need your attention.
After you perform a visual inspection, you can do another test to help you find additional drafts around your home:
1. Close all the doors and windows in your home.
2. Turn off any appliances that involve combustion, such as your stove, furnace, or hot water heater.
3. Turn on the exhaust vents in your kitchen and bathroom. This will create a negative airflow in your house.
4. Light some incense and bring it around the areas that might be of concern. If there is an interruption in the smoke, this may indicate leakage.
If you want to do an additional test, you can use an infrared thermometer to find more areas that might be causing trouble.
How to Prep Windows for Weatherproofing
Preparing your windows for weatherproofing is relatively straightforward. Begin by cleaning your windows thoroughly with window cleaner and a lint-free cloth. Look at your windows to see if there are any parts of the frame that appear damaged, or if any of the panes in your windows are cracked. Make sure to resolve any of these issues before you begin weatherproofing.
Adding Weatherproofing Materials
The most common weatherproofing material you will encounter is weatherstripping. This is a self-adhesive material that goes around the seams of windows and doors to keep drafts out.
You can be generous when applying weatherstripping material. Be sure to apply it both on the inside and outside of the window. Also, make sure the surface where you are applying the weatherstripping is dry.
Another option to consider is putting film over your window from the inside. You can buy the film, place it over the window with double-sided tape, and then use a hair dryer to shrink it into place.
Insulated curtains can help keep the cold out in the winter without much effort. The only requirement is simply buying insulated curtains and replacing your current window coverings. Find some of these from a variety of local retailers or online and use them to keep your home better insulated.
How Often Should You Check for Drafts?
Checking your home for drafts should be done every year preferably during the summer. This helps ensure that you can address new problems as they arise and before winter sets in. If you are interested in making your home more energy efficient, the Department of Energy website has great tips as well as other ways to save money on your home energy expenses.