Weather-strip or Not?
Weather-stripping doors and electrical outlets will keep warm air in
your home and cold air out of your home.
Weather-stripping is a job you can easily perform around your home with the
right tools and some instruction. The new materials used in
weather-stripping are inexpensive and easy to install, unlike the old metal
weather-stripping that required the hiring of a skilled carpenter.
Weather-stripping eliminates drafts immediately, so you will notice the
comfort level of your house increase right away. Also, you will receive a
payback in "energy dollars saved" within the first season, which is
certainly not true for all energy saving projects.
Weather-stripping comes in all shapes and styles. Its purpose is to keep
air where it's supposed to be: warm air inside your home and cold air
outside. Doorjambs and electrical outlets can be significant sources of
drafts in your home and are a good place to begin your weather-stripping.
On doors, install one kind of weather-stripping on the top and the sides of
the jamb, and a more durable kind on the bottom. An easy and effective type
of weather-stripping for the top and sides of a door, use self-adhering,
V-shaped vinyl strips. The first step is to clean and dry the surface of
the doorjamb before you apply the adhesive strips. If debris remains on the
doorframe, the adhesive will not stick. Cut the vinyl strips to the
appropriate length of each side and the top of the door. You can do this
with regular tool room scissors. Then peel off the backing as you press it
into place around the doorframe. Press the strips in place with a small
block of wood or similar hard object.
A door sweep will stop drafts along the bottom of a door. Use a hacksaw to
cut an aluminum sweep to equal to the door width. Then, with the door
closed, place the sweep so that it just rests against the doorsill. Mark
and drill holes for the mounting screws, then screw the sweep in place. If
the sweep rubs the ground, your door may not be level, or a door mat may be
interfering with the movement of the sweep. If this is the case, purchase a
sweep that has a spring mechanism. This mechanism automatically lowers the
sweep once the door is about to close and raises it as the door is opened.
Cavities between wall studs are excellent channels to move warm air from
your home to your cold attic. You can prevent this by sealing off the
source of warm air-often an electric outlet or light switch. Simply remove
the switchplate and install precut foam insulation pads and reinstall the
Sources include: Roy Barnhart, home improvement expert, www.housenet.com;