Are you having issues with winter drafts? This article outlines my experience and how I solved this with an inexpensive product. This experience also taught me the importance of proper winterization!
When we first moved into our home, it was only two years old. While it wasn’t exactly new, it was still considered new. Because of this, we figured that we wouldn’t have to worry about the issues that come with buying an older home. Well, unfortunately, we were wrong.
It didn’t take long for us to find serious faults in the quality of the construction and learn that openings such as doors and windows are often problem areas. This means that during the winter, our furnace has to work harder to keep it warm. Which boils down to one thing – increased energy costs.
And I know we are not alone. Almost 2/3 of Americans live in a home that needs weatherization! It’s the nature of construction and a problem that we will continue to face as long as we insist on having openings in our buildings.
Now at this point, one has a few options. You can replace your windows and doors, replace your siding, and add insulation. Or you can deal with it and turn up the heat. But all of these are costly options, and not altogether foolproof. But you do have other options that are much more affordable and easier to implement. Keep reading to learn more about how to keep drafts out of your home this winter.
HOW TO KEEP DRAFTS OUT OF YOUR HOME THIS WINTER
LET THE SUN SHINE IN
On those rare winter days when the sun is shining, throw open those curtains and let it help warm your home naturally. You won’t notice drafts as much when there is warm sunlight streaming into the room. Make sure you close the curtains as the sun begins to set to help keep the heat in for as long as possible.
While the sun is shining, pull up a chair, and enjoy a good book. That vitamin D is good for you!
CLOSE AND SEAL BASEMENTS AND ATTICS
Basements and attics are always cooler than your main floors, causing them to draft cold air into your living spaces. Keep basement doors closed, and add weather stripping and door sweeps as needed. Add batt insulation to an attic “hatch” in the ceiling, along with weatherstripping along the edges.
CHECK YOUR OUTLETS
Electrical outlets and switches on exterior walls aren’t an obvious cause of drafts, but they can often be very drafty. It doesn’t sound like an easy fix, but it can be with something called socket sealers. They are easy to install and can make a huge difference.
DRAFT GUARDS AT BOTTOMS OF EXTERIOR DOORS
No matter what you do, the bottoms of your exterior doors may still pose a problem for drafts, even with door sweeps installed. A rolled-up blanket or homemade fabric draft guard works excellent to block any drafts when you are inside your home. You can purchase draft guards as well, some attach to the door, and some you place there once you are inside.
Windows are undoubtedly one of the most significant problem areas when it comes to drafts in your home. I remember walking past our windows the first winter we were here and feeling a real breeze coming through them. When I would touch them, they were ice cold! In really extreme weather, frost would form on the inside of the window. Imagine how much more costly our heating bills were because of this.
Things like insulated curtains can help, but unless you can completely encapsulate the window, that cold air is still going to get into your home. Mainly because you are going to want to open those curtains during the day. Thankfully you can do just that with an affordable and easy to use window insulation kit.
A window insulation kit can help solve your window draft and leak issues and help prevent costly energy loss. And it really is easy to install.
This kit comes with a roll of crystal clear, pre-taped film, and a roll of double-sided tape. You only need scissors and a hairdryer to install it. You may also need a small stool depending upon the height of your windows. Each kit contains enough material to insulate three 3’x5′ windows. You install the kit on the inside of the windows.
We started with a bedroom window. While October in Indiana has been extremely mild, brisk fall and winter weather is inevitable. This way, we get a jump start on keeping the cold air out!
We removed the curtains and curtain rod temporarily to make installation easier.
I highly recommend that you follow the instructions for this kit instead of the back of the package. For whatever reason, the instructions inside tend to include more detail.
The package also describes rolling on the pre-taped film before applying the double-sided tape to the sides and bottom of the window. The instruction insert lists applying the double-sided tape first. Follow that. You will find it much easier to install the tape first, then roll out the film.
When rolling out the film, I recommend going from the outside of the trim to the outside of the trim. We went about halfway and it made it a bit more difficult to stretch the film across to both sides and have enough to get great coverage of the film over the tape. We made it work but had the film been wider, it would have been much easier.
Once you have the double-sided tape installed and the film taped to the top, remove the printed liner from the tape and unfold the film from the bottom to extend all the way down to the bottom of the window. The instructions don’t show you how to deal with the window sill, so we wrapped the tape around the sill and sealed the film under it. This seemed to work fine, but Duck shows that you can apply the double-sided tape to the top of the sill and seal it that way which is probably a bit easier and cleaner.
Once the film is applied to the double-sided tape (apply lightly at first so you can reposition as needed). You then use a hairdryer along the edge to remove the wrinkles and ensure adhesion.
You can then trim any excess film with a razor blade (leave that part to an adult). You can hardly tell the film is there, so it doesn’t affect the visibility out the window.
This was such an easy install! As you can see, my daughter did most of the work while I took the pictures. In the spring, when we are ready to open the windows again, it’s easy to remove. It’s a super affordable way for how to keep drafts out of your home this winter and make it more comfortable and save money on energy costs as well.
It is worth mentioning that a 10-Window Film Insulator Kit, 62″ x 420″, is typically less than $15 and easily pays for itself.