It’s that time of year again - the time of year we all find out just how draft proof our doors and windows are. If you have windows and doors that are letting in Old Man Winter and increasing your heating bills, we have a few tips for you to keep out the frost.
Drafts can cost you lots of cool cash
For the “just put on a sweater” crowd, we have some bad news. If you eliminate drafts in your home, you could be saving between 5 and 30 percent on your heating bills each year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. With rising Ontario hydro rates and steady increases in propane, natural gas, and other natural resources you could be using to heat your house, drafts are one of your budget’s worst enemies.
Nailing down draft sources & draft snakes
Light a candle and hold it around the edge of window and door frames. If the flame flickers, mark the spot so you know to seal it - then grab some clear silicone and seal the problem areas. Clear silicone can be peeled off in the spring if desired to preserve the look of your home. For real problem areas, such as under sills of drafty windows or doors, make or purchase draft snakes, which will reduce the amount of airflow in these areas. If you’re on a budget, here’s a simple how-to on how to construct a draft snake.
Shrink wrapping windows
If you have an entire window that’s drafty, sealing the entire frame with silicone isn’t practical. Shrink wrapping is more effective, and can be a stop-gap until you can repair or replace your windows. Shrink-wrapping kits for windows can be purchased at any hardware store.
Weatherstripping around doors and windows will help to eliminate drafts. BC Hydro has an effective how-to guide on their website for selecting and installing the right weatherstripping.
Heavier curtains can help, but won’t eliminate drafts
Thicker curtains can be somewhat effective in fighting drafts, but they won’t help your heating bills - you’re still effectively heating the outside. In addition, if you do get new, energy-efficient windows, thick curtains will contribute to condensation on the interior of windows.
Calling in the professionals
If you take most of the measures above and are still getting a draft, or can afford to replace significantly leaky windows and doors now, you may want to have us out to have a look at your problem and either offer a repair workaround or recommend new doors and windows that will eliminate drafts. Energy-efficient windows and effective doors pay for themselves in the long run by keeping the heat in your house where it belongs, and your dollars in your wallet.