Keep out the cold

Weatherstripping can help keep cold air out.

Winter is just weeks away and now is the perfect time to make some small changes around doors and windows to allow for big changes on your energy bill. Fixing door and window drafts with weatherstripping should also make your home more comfortable.

Weatherstripping offers a relatively quick fix for drafty doors. To determine if a door leading out of your house needs new weatherstripping, look for daylight. If even a sliver of daylight remains visible between the door and its frame or the floor, add weatherstripping.

Next, close the door or window on a piece of paper. If you can pull the paper out without tearing it, you’re losing energy.

There are a variety of  weatherstripping materials available, each good for fitting different types of door and window frames. Most are made of rubber, foam, metal, vinyl or a combination of materials. To determine the right items for the job, check the area: if any old, worn material has been previously installed, take a sample to your local hardware store or to an expert like a contractor. if no material exists as a guide, make detailed notes about the type of gap and how the door or window is installed. Someone at the hardware store or your expert should be able to make a recommendation for you.

Once you have the appropriate materials for the job, be sure to carefully read the instructions . Installation techniques range from simple to technical, depending on the type of material being used. If replacing old, worn weatherstripping, be sure to note how it was installed as you remove it.

A few basic guidelines

  • Weatherstripping should be applied to clean, dry surfaces in temperatures above 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Measure the area twice before you cut anything.
  • Apply weatherstripping snugly against both surfaces. The material should compress when the window or door is closed.

When weatherstripping doors:

  • Choose the appropriate door sweeps and thresholds.
  • Weatherstip the entire door jamb.
  • Apply one continuous strip along each side.
  • Make sure the weatherstripping meets tightly at the corners.
  • Use a thickness that causes the weatherstripping to tightly press between the door and the door jamb, without making it difficult to close.

When weatherstripping windows:

  • Apply weatherstripping between the sash and frame.
  • The weatherstripping shouldn’t interfere with the operation of the window.
For more information, visit and check out the comprehensive guide to energy savings and all the FREE tools available.

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