Drafts are a common source of inefficiency and heat loss in homes. They also make your home uncomfortable. Who wants to be sitting on a couch watching television and feel a chilly breeze pass by their face? Luckily, drafts are not something you just have to live with. There are some simple home maintenance solutions that can help combat draftiness.
Identify and Replace Leaky Windows
Old windows are one of the most common sources of drafts. Years ago, most windows were made from wood, and as the wood ages, it starts to bow, chip, and warp away from the glass. If your windows are more than 20 years old and you have money in your budget to replace them all, then that’s definitely a smart way to fight drafts and save energy. But if you have a smaller budget, identifying and replacing the draftiest of windows is one of the more approachable home maintenance solutions.
You can determine which windows are the draftiest by holding a burning stick of incense in front of each window. The more the smoke waves and blows around, the more air is leaking in. Replace the leakiest windows and your home will be far less drafty. In the meantime, you can place some heavy curtains or drapes over the leaky windows to help keep the chilly air from entering your room.
Rope Caulk Your Windows
If replacing your windows is not an option, you can stop drafts temporarily with rope caulk. This is a sticky substance that resembles the sticky tack that teachers use to attach papers to walls. It comes in a coil. You simply uncoil a length of the rope caulk and press it into the gap between the window glass and the frame.
Rope caulk is inexpensive, easy to apply, and you can easily remove it at any point. This makes it a great alternative to traditional silicon caulk.
Insulate Around Light Fixtures, Switches, and Outlets
Builders should apply insulation around light fixtures, switches, and outlets, but they do not always do so. If these areas are not well insulated, they can become a source of drafts. You can simply unscrew the plate cover, switch cover, or light fixture and shove some loose insulation around it. Spray foam insulation, which is sold in cans at most hardware stores, works even better. You spray a little insulation in the space, and it expands to fill the space.
Replace Weatherstripping Along Doors
If drafts are coming from around your door, you may need to replace torn or damaged weatherstripping. This is one of the simplest, yet most overlooked home maintenance solutions for drafts. Simply loosen the screws holding the weatherstripping in place, slide the weatherstripping out, and put a new piece of weatherstripping in place.