Beat the blustery breeze

If your home is drafty or if you think you could be saving a few dollars on your heating bill by making sure there are no leaks, check out the tips below and see if any sound like they may be useful to you! They are simple tips that may involve a bit of DIY or ingenuity, but can save you money on your bill.

Check the house for leaks. Hold a hand all around doorways, windows, or any other entrance or opening to the outside. Can you feel cool air? If you hold up something like a piece of tissue paper in front of it, does the tissue paper flutter? If so, you not only need to seal your house better against drafts, but you’re losing heat!

Get an energy audit. You can call up your local government energy office to request that someone come to your home for an energy audit—an inspection of your home to see where you’re losing heat, having drafts, or could be using your energy more efficiently to help reduce your bill. In some areas, getting an energy audit and acting on the results may qualify you for a tax discount! For more on finding an auditor and the process itself, click here.

Make your own door snakes. You may have seen these tufted rolls of fabric or foam that sit on either side of the bottom of your doorway to keep out drafts, but it’s easy to do it yourself! There are a few ways you can do it:
  • Use an old necktie. Cut open one end (and sew any loose ends shut!), then fill the center with rice or polypropylene pellets. Tie off the end or sew it closed, then lay in front of doors or windowsills.
  • Use a leg of old pantyhose. Wrap a towel or two around a length of foam pipe tubing, and insert in one leg of pantyhose (cut off the extra leg of it if that helps!). Tie off the open end, then place on the floor in front of doors. Works great with brightly colored tights!
Caulk your windows. If you felt drafts around your windows, try caulking around the edges to seal out the cold and keep in the heat. Check the container or tube for instructions on how to use the particular kind of caulk you choose, or ask someone at your favorite hardware store for a recommendation.

Wrap your windows. Another step you can take to insulate your windows is to cover the window ledge in plastic wrap. You can buy shrink wrap from the hardware store, or use layers of regular plastic wrap and painter’s tape. It works well for windows usually behind curtains, as you can’t see the tape, and it still lets light in without letting heat out!

Use curtains. Layers of curtains or one layer of blackout curtains are perfect for retaining heat and keeping cold air out. Use curtains on the worst offenders, or to hide the results of wrapping your windows.

Check the tracks in your sliding doors and windows. Clear any gunk or residue from the tracks of sliding glass doors and from the bottoms of your windows. Small pebbles, leaves, or other buildup could be preventing the doors from closing properly or creating a tight seal, which is vital to keeping heat inside!

Weather stripping. Use these pliable strips of insulated materials to adhere to the edges of doors, windows, or anyplace there’s a leak. They seal up cracks and insulate the area. Don’t like the look, or want to take them down after wintertime? No problem; weather stripping pulls off if you wish to remove them after the winter, and can be found in any hardware store.

Do you have any tips for keeping the winter drafts out of your home and outside, where they belong? Share them and any heating tips below!

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