• Sealing Drafty Windows and Doors


    Poorly fitting doors and windows allow heat to escape in the winter and enter in the summer.
    Experts suggest that correcting the problems will reduce your heating and air conditioning costs by as much as 15% throughout the year. Drafts and gaps also allow moisture where it can cause mold and rot. This is a popular DIY homeowner job and one that pays for itself quickly. You’ll recoup the cost of the materials in just a few years through lower energy bills if you do the work yourself and 2 to 3 years if you hire a handyman service or window and door specialists to do the work. You will notice a huge difference to the livability of your home immediately after the work has been carried out.
    You’ll also be making your home more ecofriendly in the process.

    Window and Door Weatherization Guide

    This guide offers tips for window and door weatherization that show you the scope of the work whether it’s a DIY job or not. The cost of the materials and tools needed for winterizing windows is shown below, and the cost of hiring a professional is discussed as well. You’ll save money with the tips for cutting the cost that are listed. Finally, this post ends with a resource section of additional information and tips for window and door weatherproofing.

    Follow these tips to reduce heat loss or gain from your home and keep out unwanted moisture that can cause rot and mold while reducing the effectiveness of insulation.

    • Start on the outside of your home by locating areas where caulk around window and door frames is cracked, loose or missing
    • Remove loose and cracked caulk with a putty knife
    • Clean the areas from which it was removed
    • Choose a quality exterior caulk
    • Load the tube into a caulk gun, follow instructions for cutting the tube’s tip and apply caulk to the areas where it is missing
    • Use a very small putty knife or your finger (wet your finger 1st) to “tool” the caulk into the seam between the wall and window or door frame
    • Large gaps can be filled with insulating foam
    • It’s best to use insulating foam that will NOT expand because expansion can put window and door frames out of alignment, making the issue worse
    • Try tightening door hinges to create a fit in the door frame that is more airtight
    • Loose doors and windows should have weatherstripping applied to tops and sides to alleviate drafts
    • Choose a quality weatherstripping product, and follow the rules on the packaging
    • Using insulation film over windows is an effective way to decrease drafts, and it increases insulation by creating a pocket of warm air between the window and your home’s interior
    • Heavy clear plastic and tape can be used too – it’s more affordable but less transparent
    • For windows you don’t need to see out of, fill in the space with rigid foam insulation glued to drywall and cut for a snug fit
    • Insulated curtains and blinds can effectively repel heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer
    • A door sweep is a good way to stop drafts from coming beneath an exterior door
    • The sweep attaches to the door with fasteners or adhesive and creates a better seal at the threshold of the door.

    Window and Door Weatherization Costs

    These are typically cheap fixes that immediately cut your energy use and costs.

    DIY weatherization: Here are some of the costs associated with weatherizing windows and doors.

    • Window film and two-sided tape: $6 to $9 per window
    • Rigid foam insulation and drywall: $7 to $10 per window but more effective than plastic
    • Can of foam insulation (remember to use non-expanding foam around windows and doors): $4.50 to $8 per 12oz can
    • Insulating caulk: $7 to $12 per tube
    • Caulk gun: $8 to $25
    • Roll weatherstripping: $4 to $12 per window or door

    Professional weatherization costs: If you want a professional to do the work, call a handyman service or a window and door specialist. With materials included, expect the cost to be $18 to $27 per window and door.

    Window and Door Weatherization Resources

    Here’s more great information for tackling this important money-saving home project.

    Columbia Gas VA – Window and door weatherization are included in these tips from a Virginia power company.

    Energy.Gov – Here are weatherization tips from the Department of Energy.

    Small Notebook – These tips are designed specifically for making an apartment more energy efficient.

    Gravina Windows – This window installer offers tips for sealing out window drafts.


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