The Most Overlooked Sources of Air Escaping From Your Home

Effective draft prevention in winter makes your home more comfortable and saves money too. If you can feel cold drafts, heat is also escaping. Heat leaks out of the house through many of the same openings where cold drafts enter. Finding and fixing air leaks helps eliminate heat loss and stops those chilly air currents that penetrate your home.

Here are three target areas for draft prevention:

1. Windows

Windows account for up to 16% of cold-air infiltration (and heat loss) in a home. Cold drafts due to window air leakage are usually the most noticeable to occupants.

    • Use caulking to close cracks or gaps in the frame surrounding the window. You’ll have to scrape away old, deteriorating caulk before applying new material.
    • Remove worn weatherstripping in the window channel and replace it with new adhesive foam or rubber weatherstripping.
    • Draft stoppers typically known as “draft snakes” are a temporary option to lay across the window sill and prevent cold air entry in winter.

2. Doors

Leakage through a 1/8-inch gap along the bottom of an exterior door allows as much cold air into the house as a 2.5-inch hole in the wall. Install a new insulating door sweep along the floor, plus a strip of special door-sweep weatherstripping along the bottom of the door. Remove worn insulation around the door frame where the door contacts and replace it with new self-adhesive foam or rubber insulation.

3. Walls

Air leakage through exterior walls cause about 17% of heat loss in a house. Cold outdoor drafts enter through structural cracks that develop in corners between walls and also along the long gap between the baseboard and the floor. Seal these with clear silicone caulking.

Cold air also enters through electrical outlets in exterior walls. You can remove the outlet plate and inject expanding foam insulation into the opening around the outlet box. Commercially available rubber “socket sealers” installed behind the outlet plate also stop cold air from entering the room through the wall.

Paitson Bros. has more suggestions for effective draft prevention. Since 1922, we’ve been your source for improved home comfort and efficiency.

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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