How to Heal A Drafty Home

Image Credit: US Window & Door, Inc. via DesignMine

Brrr, it’s cold in here. That’s what’s going through the mind of any poor unfortunate soul who finds themselves living in a drafty house. A drafty home does more than just make you shiver; it also costs you tons of money trying to heat it. Sure, you could just do what your mama told you and put on a sweater, but it’s important to think about healing your drafty home, which will save you money and keep your teeth from chattering.

Below are a handful of tips for healing that home.

Seal your windows and doors. It’s estimated that 10 to 30 percent of heat pumped into your home during the winter is lost through drafty windows and doors. It’s important to seal those dastardly spaces so you can stay cozy until springtime.

An easy way to check for drafts around doorways or windows, according to Dave Quandt, vice president of Field Operations for American Home Shield, is to place a piece of tissue paper onto a clothespin and hold it near the frame, being careful that any nearby vents are turned off. If the tissue is moving, chances are you have a leak.

Windows Snow
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Fill cracks with caulk and add weather stripping to windows and doors. Boom!

Control the flow with a window treatment. Okay, maybe I “boomed” a little prematurely. If you feel your windows and doors are well-sealed, yet you still feel a draft, you can try controlling that flow with a better window treatment. Getting the proper shades, blinds and curtains will help you reign in some of that lost heat.

Check your insulation. Small air leaks in the attic of your house may be one of the culprits for constantly feeling cold. These holes—often found around pipes, light fixtures and chimneys—may seem small, but when you add them together, you can have over a foot of open space. That’s basically the equivalent of kicking a hole in the side of your house and wondering why all your precious heated air is escaping. Find the bypasses yourself and plum ’em up, or, for better results, hire a handyman or an insulation contractor to do the job for you.

Get your ducts in a row. Okay, the actual order of your ducts might be fine, but they may be secretly leaking your hot air out. Have the aforementioned insulation contractor check your ducts for blocks or leaks that could be disrupting your airflow.

“If a room or area seems to be much cooler than the rest of your house, check for leaks in your ductwork,” says Quandt. “If seams and joints aren’t properly sealed, or if a section has become ripped or torn, your heating unit is pumping warmed air into your attic or crawlspace.”

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Pay attention to your fireplace. If you have a fireplace, it could be letting warm air escape through the chimney. To prevent this, make sure to close your damper when you’re not using the fireplace, or look into stalling a chimney balloon.

A final tip from Quandt? “Check to be sure that your HVAC system is the right size for your home. A contractor can inspect your home and unit, and help you decide if it’s time for an upgrade or if additional ductwork could help eliminate drafty areas.”

Author Bio: Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s Associate Editor. She can be found frantically checking her home for air leaks and blogging on Housecall.