Homeowners need to keep outside air out of their homes in order to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. However, this can be difficult when there are air leaks, which are often referred to as drafts, throughout your home. Air leaks can be found in a number of places in the home, including the attic, fireplace, and around doors. But, the most common spot for air leaks by far is around the windows.
Here’s how to fix drafty windows and other air leaks in your home:
Lock the Windows
Fixing an air leak can sometimes be as easy as locking the windows. If the window is not locked, it can leak a small amount of air even if it appears to be closed. Homeowners should try locking all of their windows before trying one of the more difficult fixes to see if this is enough to stop the drafts.
Caulk Around the Windows
Caulk is a material that can be applied around the perimeter of windows to seal air leaks. Before applying a fresh layer of caulk, look around the window’s border to see if there is any cracked caulk that needs to be removed. Cracked caulk can be removed either using a sharp utility knife or with caulk remover.
Once the cracked caulk has been removed, a new layer can be applied using a caulking gun. Hold the gun at a 45 degree angle so the caulk is applied directly into the crack around the window. If the caulk is not being forced into the crack, use a putty knife to gently push it in. If possible, apply caulk in one continuous motion until you have reached the other side of the window. Caulking around the windows in your home should seal up the air leaks and prevent drafts.
Use Door Sweeps
Now that the windows are sealed, it’s time to fix the drafts coming from other areas of your home. Start by placing door sweeps on the bottom of every door that leads outside. These door sweeps will seal off the door and prevent air from leaking out of your home.
The attic can also be a major source of air leaks. Insulating the attic is the best way to seal these leaks. If you plan on doing this project by yourself, it’s best to use insulated fiberglass rolls since this is the easiest type of insulation to install. You probably already have some type of insulation installed between the rafters in your attic. Lay the fiberglass rolls directly on top of and perpendicular to the existing layer of insulation. Do not lay insulation over soffit vents or recessed lighting—there should be a barrier of wire mesh or sheet metal between the insulation and the vent or light.
Applying insulation to the attic and prevent a great deal of air from escaping through the roof of your home.
Seal the Fireplace
To seal a fireplace, start by making sure that the damper is completely closed. If it’s not, this could be the reason why there are air leaks. If the damper is closed already, it’s recommended that you seal the entrance to the fireplace off with a piece of thick foam insulation covered in decorative fabric. This insulation can easily be removed when the fireplace is in use and then reused over and over again to prevent drafts.
Fixing the drafty windows, doors, and attic will make you feel much more comfortable in your home. Plus, it can also reduce your utility bills since air is no longer leaking out of your home. Spend a weekend tackling these projects so you can put more cash in your pocket and enjoy the relaxing feeling of being at home.