No More Drafts: How to Seal Your Windows

– iStock 840517406 – No More Drafts: How to Seal Your Windows

Winter may be on its way out but that doesn’t mean you want to let all of your warm air out. And while you can’t stop the cold, you can stop it from coming into your home via drafty windows and doors. There are a few easy, inexpensive things you can do to seal out the cold.

DIY Window Seal Options

A trip to your neighborhood hardware or home-improvement store can lead to a number of solutions. Here are a few:

Caulking is a great option. It can be applied around window trim, and the joints of the trim and between the trim and the window frame. Make sure the caulk you choose is nontoxic and suitable for indoors. Latex is recommended. Before you caulk, clean the window and the areas where you plan to apply, so you don’t trap dust and such.

You also can remove trim to seal between it and the frame. Insulating foam or insulation works great for this. Once you’ve done that, replace the trim and seal any gaps with caulk.

Weatherstripping also is an inexpensive way to create a strong seal to keep the cold outside. The foam stripping attaches to the edge of the window or door, so when closed it forms a barrier to drafts.

If you don’t want to open the windows throughout the winter, clear plastic film works great for sealing things up tight. Sold in kits, plastic can be cut to size. A hair dryer is all you need to stretch the film tight and lock it in place for the whole season.

Window Coverings to Add Protection

Window coverings can add a layer of defense, too. Similar to curling up under a warm, fuzzy blanket, putting energy-efficient, cold-resistant shades or curtains on your windows can keep things toasty. There are a variety of styles and choices, ranging from high-end to budget-friendly. If you can’t find these at your home improvement retailer, a home goods store or discount big-box chain will carry them and might offer better pricing, too.

You also can layer your curtains and drapes to add extra protection.

Just like curtains and shades can serve as a buffer for the whole window, “draft dodgers” or “snakes” can do so at the lower edges of your windows or doors. Simple fabric tubes filled with rice, they can be bought or even made at home (some of a certain age might even remember making them in home economics class). Place them at the bottom of the door and the bottom of the window on the sill to stop any heat leaking.

If you’re looking for an option that can be reused season after season and are willing spend a little more, storm windows are a good choice. Interior storm windows provide an extra layer of protection between your cozy home and the cold, attaching to the window frame to reduce air leaks.

If you know you’re leaking heat, but don’t know exactly where, invest in an energy audit, where a professional can use infrared cameras and blowers to find all the places the warmth is escaping and the cold is finding its way in.

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