Feel a Draft?
Take a look at your weather stripping on your doors and windows. Worn out weather stripping allows cold air to seep into your home and as a result you're heating bill can be higher.
Weather stripping deteriorates due to age, friction, and exposure to the elements. It also can be damaged by people, pets, and pests. At least once each year, inspect your windows and doors to check for air leaks that indicate your weather stripping isn’t doing its job.
Types of weather stripping:
Self-adhesive foam tape loses its grip over time, causing it to pull away from the door or window frame -- or fall off completely. Foam also can lose its resilience, no longer springing up to fill the gap.
Rubber and vinyl weather stripping becomes dry, brittle, and cracked. Over time, it can also lose its shape and effectiveness.
Spring-metal V-shaped weather stripping bends out of shape, cracks in spots, and comes loose thanks to missing nails.
There’s no shortage of weather-stripping options at hardware stores and home improvement centers. As is often the case, the cheaper and easier the product is to install, the less effective and durable it probably is over time.
Adhesive-backed foam tape is inexpensive — costing less than a buck a foot — and peel-and-stick types are easy as pie to install. It works best where the bottom of a window sash closes against a sill, or a door closes against a doorframe. It’s the compression that produces the seal. Don't expect this product to survive longer than 3 to 5 years.
V-shaped weather stripping, sometimes called tension-seal weather stripping, is the best option for the side channels of a double-hung window or a tight-fitting door. This product springs open to close gaps and plug leaky windows and doors.
Inexpensive peel-and-stick V-shaped vinyl is easy to install but won’t last much longer than foam tape. More expensive copper or bronze styles must be nailed into place, but they look better and will last decades.
Tubular rubber or vinyl gaskets prove the most effective for sealing large and irregular gaps, such as around an old door. These hollow tubes are large enough to plug big gaps but soft enough to compress nearly flat. Types that are nailed in place last longer than peel-and-stick varieties.