Reduce drafts

Seal in the savings

Gaps and cracks around windows and doors allow cold air to sneak into your home during the winter, causing your heating system to work harder. In the summer, these drafts bring hot air in, making your home less comfortable, which may lead you to turn on the air conditioner or fan to keep cool.

Sealing up your doors and windows is one of the most cost-effective steps you can take to improve your home's efficiency and keep these drafts at bay.

Here are four simple projects that can help draftproof your home: 

Apply foam weatherstripping

Materials and supplies

  • Foam weatherstripping
  • Measuring tape

Skill level

Intermediate

Time required

1 hour

Foam weatherstripping creates a barrier against drafts around doors and windows. It's applied to the part of the frame that touches the exterior side of your door or window.  

  1. Begin by measuring the edges of your door or window, and cut the foam weatherstripping to the desired length.
  2. Peel away the paper backing and press the weatherstripping in place. If you're standing inside your home, the non-sticky side of the tape should be directly facing you.

Install v-seal weatherstripping

Materials and supplies

  • V-seal weatherstripping
  • Measuring tape

Skill level

Intermediate

Time required

1 hour

This type of weatherstripping is perfect for stopping drafts from sneaking in around doors and windows. It's flexible and compressible, so it won't get in the way if it's properly installed. You'll be applying the strip to the inside of the frame, facing the outside edges of the window or door.

  1. Start by measuring the lengths of the window or door before you cut the v-seal.
  2. Fold the v-seal in a line down the middle, creating a v-shape with the adhesive side on the outside.
  3. Peel off the protective backing as you apply the strip, then press into place.
  4. Close the door or window to check that the strip compresses slightly for a snug fit.

Apply window insulator film

Materials and supplies

  • Window cleaning supplies
  • Double-sided tape
  • Measuring tape
  • Window insulator film
  • Hair dryer
  • Scissors

Skill level

Intermediate

Time required

1 hour

Much like a second pane of glass, plastic insulator film creates an insulating air space against your windows to help prevent heat loss.

  1. Start by cleaning the window and the frame.
  2. Apply double-sided tape all around the clean and dry window frame.
  3. Measure the height and width of the window frame allowing for a few extra inches of overlap on every side.
  4. Cut the plastic film to size.
  5. Remove the paper backing from the strip of tape on the top of the window frame.
  6. Pull the film across the top of the frame, just enough to straighten it out without stretching it and press the film onto the tape.
  7. With a hair dryer on the hot setting, slowly make your way back and forth across the plastic without getting too close or staying in one spot for too long. The film will begin to shrink and tighten, leaving you with a clear and relatively wrinkle-free surface.
  8. Repeat steps five to seven for the bottom and two sides of the frame.
  9. Carefully trim the excess film from around the edges of the frame.

Use outlet and switch insulator pads

Materials and supplies

  • Screwdriver
  • Foam outlet sealer
  • Foam light switch sealer

Skill level

Intermediate

Time required

1 hour

These pre-cut foam pads help to stop cold air from seeping through outlets and light switches – especially ones on the exterior walls of your home.

  1. Turn off the electricity at the circuit breaker before you start.
  2. Remove the cover plate from your outlet or switch with a screwdriver that matches the plate screws.
  3. Choose a foam pad with pre-cut holes that match the job.
  4. Remove the extra material from the holes, then place the pad over the outlet or switch.
  5. Put the cover plate over the foam pad and re-attach it to the wall with your screwdriver.
  6. Insert safety caps on any unused outlets.