With the cold winter months approaching, you will be relying on your furnace, space heaters, pellet stove, or some other device to keep your house warm. This translates to high energy bills that could be even higher if you let the heat escape through spaces in your doors and windows.
Winterizing the doors in your home and sealing any air leaks is one of the easiest ways to reduce your energy costs this winter. Reports indicate that you can lose up to 30 per cent of your energy through unsealed doors and windows.
Fortunately, it is fairly easy to detect and seal any air leaks around your doors.
First, you should inspect the insulating weatherstrip around your exterior doors. Close the door and run your hand along the edge from the inside, or light a stick of incense and hold it near the edge, still from the inside. These tests are best performed on a windy day to identify any airflow so you can detect spots through which air is escaping from the house. If you detect any leaks, you can improve the seal by:
- Applying weather stripping around your doorframe
When applying the weather stripping, keep checking that you can still close the door all the way. You may also have to use extra weather stripping for wider leaks.
- Using caulking around the doorframes
Fill all visible holes and cracks with caulk, making sure to check for openings on both the inside and outside of the doorframe. You may need to remove mouldings around the door to reach gaps around the frame. Be careful when removing moulding to avoid damaging it or the wall. If you need to re-apply the caulk, wait until the first layer is completely dry.
- Use a draft guard at the bottom of the door
You may consider adding a draft guard between the bottom of your exterior door and the threshold. Alternatively, you can simply roll up a towel and place it neatly at the base of the door for the same effect.
- Add a storm door
Installing a storm door will offer extra protection against the harsh winter weather. Storm doors act as a secondary barrier that minimize the amount of airflow reaching your exterior doors.
Lastly, always close your exterior doors properly, like using the deadbolt, to strengthen your door’s seal.
Now that your doors are ready for winter, be sure to also check your windows for any leaks. You typically don’t require the services of a professional to winterize your doors and windows, unless you have an old home with extensive damage.