When it comes to making sure your home is energy-efficient as well as keeping it at a comfortable temperature throughout the year, there are few things as simple as looking to your windows and doors to make a big difference. While replacing them with newer, more efficient windows and doors is of course a great option, it isn’t always in the budget right away, especially for first time homeowners. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to improve your current windows and doors and improve your energy bills as well.
Finding The Leak
There is a very easy way to test for a leak in your home. Carefully hold a lit candle near the window sill. Watch for movement in the flame. If you see the flame appear to be blown inward, air flow from the window is the likely culprit. Move the flame to several locations around the window to find hidden air leaks. You can do this with doors as well, but it is generally more obvious when a door has a poor seal.
Securing The Perimeter
Properly sealing all around the edges of your windows and doors is the quickest way to reduce drafts and increase energy efficiency. Windows can be sealed very easily with a simple caulking available at any home improvement store. Simply apply it all around the edges of the window to ensure drafts are cut off. There are other ways to protect against air leaks at windows as well, such as storm windows and plastic coverings which, although less attractive, can be very effective.
Doors are a little more complex, as you need to open and close them more often than your windows, which can be sealed over the winter months. Applying a strip of foam or rubber sealant tape all around the edge of the door is a quick fix that can make a difference. Some outside doors have this built in. If this is the case, check to see if it is beginning to show wear.
You can also use a “door snake,” which lies along the bottom edge of the door and prevents drafts from beneath. Newer models slide under the door and move with it, so you don’t have to move it out of the way each time you open the door.
Keep your home comfortable and energy-efficient by checking and sealing all of your doors and windows yearly.
Photo Credit: @JulieK via Twenty20