Quick Fixes for Drafts and Air Leaks

Resealing a door

 

It’s 9 am on a chilly Sunday morning. You’ve been looking forward to this day—your favorite NFL ream team has a huge game against a division rival. An essential win on their journey to make the playoffs.

You wake and put on your casual morning hoodie. You walk into the kitchen to prepare a glorious Sunday morning breakfast and prepare the dip when your warmth is ruined by a frigid December breeze barreling through your house.

The only draft you’re prepared for this year was your NFL fantasy draft, not this one. Aside from being uncomfortable, this kind of draft will cost you money through higher energy costs. So, what are some quick fixes you can do to finish the job in time for the game?

 

Find the draft

The first step is to find where the draft or air leak is coming from. Outside of windows and doors leading to the exterior, there are multiple common areas that could cause the draft. Here are some common areas listed on energystar.gov.

  • Duct Register
  • Attic Hatch
  • Recessed Light
  • Plumbing Vent, Vent Fan, Outdoor Faucet, Dryer Vent
  • Wiring holes such as electrical and cable outlets
  • Furnace Ducts
  • A fireplace

The next step is to shut off the air circulating through your home. This will only be brief, so it shouldn’t significantly lower your home’s interior temperature.

Aside from using the hand test to find the draft by sensing it with your skin, a candle works as well. Light a candle and place it near areas you suspect the draft is coming from. Simply place the candle in front and watch for consistent flickers.

If you cannot find the draft, it’s best to hire a contractor. But for the sake of this blog, let’s assume you find the source.

 

So, you found the draft

Once you find the draft, there are some quick fixes you can do to solve the problem. Whether it’s doors, vents or windows, you should be able to solve the problem for the short term and get back to your game without shivering or worrying about the money leaking through a mystery draft.

 

Windows

Weather stripping: Apply weather stripping along the sides of the window, specifically where the window frame meets the window sill. Don’t worry, your window will still be able to open, if needed.

Snakes: Draft snakes are mostly used for doors, but they can be used for windows as well. If you can tell that the draft is coming exclusively through the bottom of the window, a draft snake can do the trick.

Shrink Film: This is rather common. Use double-sided tape to place the film over the window sill. After, grab a hair dryer and apply heat, shrinking the film and sealing the draft.

Caulking: Caulking works best if you can specifically see the gap within the window. Apply expanding foam in these crevices to seal the draft for the winter.

Long term: the long-term fix is to replace the window. Unless you can bare some cold weather, you’ll probably have to wait for warmer weather before installation.

 

Doors

Snakes: similar to windows, simply throwing a draft snake at the bottom of the door can help tremendously.

Install Sweeps: Door sweeps act as another line of defense to cover the gap between the bottom of your door and the door frame.

Quick-fix the trim: This will take a few hours out of your day, but not too long. You’ll need to grab your drill and foam beforehand. Unscrew the trim around the doorway to reveal the insulation behind. You’ll probably find gaps in this area. Apply the foam in the crevices and screw the trimming back onto the doorway.

Re-caulk the exterior: The additional caulking may look tacky, but it’s only temporary until the weather warms up, which brings us to the last point.

Long Term: Gaps can be too large or too difficult to deal with. In this case, you’ll have to reinstall the door. No one likes the idea of taking on a big project, but if you want to save in the long run you’ll do it now and save yourself later.

These short-term fixes shouldn’t take too much time out of your day, so you can get back to watching your Sunday football. If you don’t want to wait until the weather warms and do it yourself, contact Blackstone Exteriors to ensure all of your drafts are properly sealed. We don’t mind the cold.