When outside temperatures begin to dip, we tend to notice spots where cold air seeps into the home. Fall is a great time of year to put a stop to cold drafts before the snow piles up outside. Here in Maine and other areas in the north, we crank up the thermostat and fire up the wood stove when the air outside turns frigid. A single draft can thwart our efforts to keep the home warm and hike up the heating bill in the process.
How to Stop Window and Door Drafts
There are 3 ways to stop drafts from entering through windows and doors: weather stripping, indoor plastic shrink film and outdoor clear plastic sheeting. Apply weather stripping around the edges of windows and doors to keep cold air from seeping in and warm air from leaking out. Shrink film can be hung indoors and plastic sheeting out, to stop cold drafts from coming in. Weather stripping is a more permanent measure while clear plastic is usually taken down once outside temperatures warm.
3 Easy Ways to Stop Window Drafts in the Home: Browse and shop window weatherizing products. Includes how to videos for installing weatherstripping foam, shrink film and plastic sheeting.
How to Stop Chimney Drafts
When the fireplace, wood or pellet stove isn’t in use, cold drafts can find their way in through the chimney making a room unbearably cold. On the flip side, warm air can seep out through the opening of the chimney even through a closed damper. To put a stop to this, insert a fireplace plug. The plug acts as a shield and blocks unwanted air from coming in and going out through the chimney. To use the fireplace, wood or pellet stove, simply remove the plug and reinsert it when the fireplace is not in use.
How to Stop Dryer Duct Drafts
When it comes to stopping drafts in the home, the dryer duct is often overlooked. The dryer is connected to an exhaust duct which creates a prime opening for cold air to sneak into the home. In most homes, a flapper made out of metal is already attached to the dryer vent. The flapper shuts when the dryer is off in an effort to prevent drafts. Overtime, these become worn and more often, clogged with lint forcing them to remain open. An easy way to stop this from happening is to install a vent seal.
How to Stop Cold Drafts from Seeping Down the Attic Stairs
Attics are known for being hot and cold spots in the home depending on the time of year. Where the attic stairs lie, there is no insulation or ceiling to block cold drafts from coming into the home. Some homeowners install an attic door to stop drafts. When installing a door isn’t an option, install an attic hatch instead. Hatches come in varying sizes and act as a barrier between cold air and the attic stairs.
How to Stop Cold Drafts around Whole House Fans and Air Conditioning Vents
Cold drafts are attracted to areas where whole house fans and air conditioning vents meet the exterior of the home. In some ways, these are similar to dryer vents. Many are installed with a shutter in an effort to stop cold air from coming in. When this isn’t enough, install a shutter seal as a second line of defense. These are pretty simple to install, can be cut to size and easily removed if need be.
If cold drafts in the home are a result of poor insulation or other costly work, dailygreen.com suggests checking with your local state agency to see if any funding for your home weatherization project is available. I’ve done research on this type of funding in the past and encourage you to look into it. However, keep in mind that funds only last so long, so apply as soon as they become available.
Do you have any tips to stop drafts in the home?