Have you ever wondered why your home seems so cold and windy during winter despite shutting all the doors and windows? Even with a heater and fire in the chimney, it still does not suffice the warmth and coziness that you want. In this case, you might need to check out air leakage around your doors and windows as you might fail to notice them. Instead of compromising with the high heating bill, try checking the drafts, weatherstripping, and caulking around your doors and windows to conserve more energy and money.
Although hiring a handyman can do this job, they may not be readily available anytime, and the service might be too costly for your budget. Thus, learning how to stop air from leaking around a door can be a great advantage to you, especially if the leakages are not too severe.
After reading this article, you will be able to know how to stop air from leaking around a door, starting from knowing how to tell if your door has drafts around it, until knowing why and how significant it is to stop air-leakage around your home.
What is a Drafty Door, and Why Does it Matter?
Being drafty is getting exposed to or abounded to drafts of air. A drafty door is a nuisance, especially during the cold season, as it is a significant reason behind heat loss in your home. Exposure to elements like rain, snow, sleet, and expansion or contraction that eventually lead to constant fluctuation usually cause drafty doors. As this process continues, drafty doors worsen where it reaches the end of its lifespan and is no longer giving enough sealing in your doorframe.
The drafty door in your home is a big deal as it causes air leakage, letting the warm air to flow outside, leaving only cold air inside. Although having a furnace is an advantage, sooner, you might need to work overtime merely to replace the lost heat, so you also need to spend more to keep your home warm.
As soon as you feel that the coldness in your home seems unusual, then it’s time to check and know where the drafts and air leakage originated.
How to Know if Your Door has Drafts around?
Believe it or not, your home is not as air-tight as you think, especially when it has already withstood several wet seasons. Ensure that your home is free of drafts and leakages with these few methods.
- The easiest way to check drafts is to run the back of your hand around the doors frames and feel if there is any cold breeze of sounds of air coming through the gaps. Do the same on electrical outlets on outside walls in case there is a lack of insulation.
- Try lighting a candle and hold it approximately two inches away from the door. Place it at various points and look for any flickering. Make sure that the flickering is not from your movements but because of the drafts.
- Another method is to close the curtains and turn off all the lights, making it as dark as it can be. Then, check if there is any sunlight coming in between the doorway’s jamb and threshold and the door. Meanwhile, if you cannot see daylight but still feel a draft, try the smoke test instead.
How to Stop Air from Leaking Around a Door
Now that you have learned how to check for drafts and air leakage, it’s time to know different methods on how to stop drafts around doors. As air leakages and drafts can waste energy and money, it is better to resort to the most convenient ways at a minimal expense to solve your problem.
If you felt the cold penetrating through your door frame, or the sunlight passing through the gaps, then you have a drafty door. If you have tightened your door hinges but still feel a draft, then you have to resort to the weather stripping. The most common method on how to fix a drafty door is through weather stripping. You can either add or replace the weather stripping, depending on the severity of the door drafts.
To add weather stripping, you need to clean the door jamb with soap and water first. Ensure to remove any paint, dirt, or residue left by previous weather stripping. Then, you need to measure the length and width of your door jamb and cut foam strips for each edge. Measuring every foam piece is significant as the foam sticks hard, so it is difficult to remove and reapply it. Be as accurate as possible to avoid messy work.
Finally, add or cut the foam strips until you can no longer feel any draft around the door. Voila! You already know how to install foam weather stripping around a door. Wasn’t that easy?
Another way to stop drafts and air leakages are by replacing caulking inside, outside of your door, or both. As there are different variations of caulking materials, ensure that you bought the correct type for your door.
Like the weather stripping, you must scrape off any old caulking, paint, or any residue that may disrupt the caulk from adequately sealing the gaps. Using the box cutter or any utility knife, trim the end of the caulking tube at a 45° angle, enough for a 1/4 inches side beading to come out. You can also try cutting near the tip and make a larger opening if you are not sure where you need to cut.
Finally, place the tube in the caulking gun and squeeze out the caulking material. Be as smooth and as steady as possible for a clean and secured sealing. If you are satisfied, wet your finger and gently flatten the caulking material.
If your doors are still being drafty despite weather stripping and caulking, then you might need these other tips options to solve your problem about warming your home.
The first tip is to replace the door if the leakage and drafts are too severe to fix. Door replacement is the best choice if your home already has some years behind it, where the door and doorframe might have warped over time. Although this option can get expensive than door repairs, you can save more money in the long run due to lower heating and cooling costs.
Besides, some states and countries might set a standard for doors, windows, and skylight to attain energy performance guidelines. However, you may be eligible for tax savings if you chose a qualified door replacement.
Hardware and home-improvement stores have foam insulation for outlets, in case you found the drafts in your electrical outlet instead. You can also find caulking and weather stripping in these types of stores as well.
If you are still unconfident about finding drafts and air leakages, you can try inquiring about energy audits by your electric or gas company, where they include air leaks in their inspection procedures. These companies also utilize advanced instruments for more accurate detection and findings.
How Prescriptive Air Sealing Benefits Your House?
Through prescriptively air sealing your home, you can restrict the gaps and passages of airflow through unnoticed cracks around your house. Due to the discrepancies in exterior and interior air pressure that allows heat to transfer in and out, air leaks out of your house. Hence, it increases your energy consumption as you maximize the use of your insulation, giving many benefits to your home and living.
However, prescriptively air sealing is a daunting task as air is invisible and can leak through hundreds of hidden passages around your house. Also, you must have a set of specific tools to help you seal the gaps for air and heat transfer. If you don’t have time to do so, then call for professional help to have better sealing services. Here are the reasons why you must do prescriptive air sealing right away.
It may seem inevident, but prescriptive air sealing can be a relatively affordable repairing method where you can start saving money after doing so. There will be a significant drop in energy consumption, lesser air pollution and contamination, and better protection against mold and other damages. Thus, you don’t have to worry about these home issues for some time.
Increased Comfort Around Your Home
During winter or wet season, cold drafts, floors, and walls can make you and your family uncomfortable. You might also have to deal with fluctuating temperature differences that can cause unnecessary irritation in your household.
Increased Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality does not always rely on fresh outdoor air, as cracks and gaps in your home for ventilation is not healthy air. These uncontrolled leaks can bring pollution, moisture, and allergens to your premises. Avoid depending on outside air and do air sealing as well as proper ventilation installation for your door, windows, and vents. By adequately positioning windows and air sealing, you can enjoy a better air quality and overall comfort as you can regulate the amount of time your ventilation is functional.
Prevent Mold Development Around Your House
Through prescriptive air sealing, you can maintain dry, crawl, and darks spaces, like attics, where mold spores usually thrive. As mold spores are airborne, they can easily float around and catch wind drifts, which can be prevented by air sealing.
Why shiver with cold air and compromising the quality of your home? Cease your winter struggle by stopping air leakages around your house. Instead of being complacent and having regrets after a while, start learning more about air sealing until you can do the job yourself. Save money and time while enjoying the warmth, cozy, and comfort of your home.