Are your visions of that warm cozy evening at home being put on ice because of frigid drafts? While some heat-loss fixes, such as replacing outdated or inefficient heating systems or redoing wall and attic insulation, may require professionals to assist you, there are some easier fixes that can make your home much more comfortable in those cold winter months. Buildreview.com reports that as much as 10% of a home’s heat loss comes through leaky windows and doors, and since entryways are the point of first contact with the cold outside world, there’s a good chance they’re also a major source of the drafts you’re feeling.
There are some simple fixes a DIYer who wants to increase their winter comfort can take on to seal out the cold and seal in toasty comfort. Here are a few things to consider and some tips on how to better insulate.
Because doors are opened and closed so often, there’s a lot of wear and tear that can cause substantial air leaks. Proper maintenance of doors is crucial then to reducing thermal loss.
- Install or replace a door sweep: A door sweep attaches to the bottom of your door and creates a barrier for air that tries to seep under. Door sweeps can get worn with time and become less efficient, so if you’re feeling drafts in your entryway, this may be a good starting point as a fix.
- Install weather stripping: You can often hold your hand to the cracks around a door and feel the cold air leaking in. If this is the case in your home, weather stripping is a good and easy fix. You can purchase weather stripping at any hardware store. Just be sure it is the proper thickness for the gaps between your door and frame.
- Install a storm door: This may require a professional depending on your DIY level of skill, but a storm door provides another layer of protection from cold in particularly harsh climates.
- Use a door snake: If you have sewing skills, it’s easy to make a cloth tube you fill with insulative material and place against the bottom crack of your door. You can also buy these online or in some homegoods stores.
- Keep your door locked: It may seem simple, but a locked door pulls tighter to the frame thus sealing out many of those drafts.
Entryways often include windows to allow light in, but light isn’t all that comes in through those windows. To cold proof glass areas then, you should be sure to insulate your windows
- Use thick curtains or insulative shades: Older windows particularly can be inefficient at preventing heat loss across glass. A heavy curtain is an easy way to insulate against the cold coming in through glass. You can also install blinds that are designed to further insulate your windows.
- Caulk the edges: If you can see cracks around the frames of your windows, this may be the sight of cold getting in. Apply a new line of caulk to any seams you find, let it dry, and then see if you may need to apply a second layer.
- Use a plastic seal: You can buy plastic wrap that can be applied to the interior of a window and then tightened with a blow dryer. This is an inexpensive way to create an extra barrier to heat loss.
- Make sure your sashes are latched: Just like with doors, a locked window holds tighter to the frame and thus is less likely to allow air in.
Entryways are areas that are often more likely to be tiled or to be finished with hardwood flooring. While beautiful, these types of floors can be less insulative.
- Put down throw rugs: One very easy way to keep cold from radiating up through your floor is to put down throw rugs in your entryway.
- Reseal your floors: Cracks and crevices in wood and floor tiling can let the cold in. Resealing your flooring can help to close off those entry points for the cold.
- Use ceiling fans. If you have a ceiling fan in your entryway keeping it on a low setting so that it circulates rising heated air back down to the floor, which will help maintain a more balanced temperature.