Simple draft blockers help prepare your home or apartment for the season's extremes.
Before cold weather comes along, take time to insulate your home or apartment to help lower your heating bill and keep the winter chill outside. A single pane of glass can lose nearly ten times as much heat as the same area of an insulated wall—and depending on when your home was built or apartment was remodeled, your furnace might be making up the difference by working overtime.
How to stop door and window drafts
- Cover air conditioners. Cover air conditioners. Wipe down the unit, clear debris from the surrounding area, and hose off the unit. Once it's completely dry, cover the air conditioner and turn off the water shutoff valve, if your system has one. Remove window units and store them indoors to prevent window drafts. If you can't remove your window unit, close the vents and protect it from the elements with an air conditioner cover.
- Use plastic window film. A window film kit helps insulate your home or apartment by helping to decrease the air flow through a closed window.
- Use a draft guard. Stop door drafts with draft stoppers or make a draft snake yourself .
- Cover the windows with thick, dark-colored curtains. When the sun is out, pull the curtains back to allow the sun to naturally warm your place. But in the evenings, close the curtains to trap the heat in and block any drafts from the windows.
Additional tips for homeowners and landlords
- Caulk doors and windows. Block door and window drafts by caulking air leaks around doors and windows.
- Add more insulation if needed. If you can see the ceiling joists in your attic, you may need more insulation.
- Install storm windows and doors. They fit right into existing window and door frames and dramatically increase the insulation of your home.
- Insulate pipes. This will help prevent your pipes from freezing and save money on your hot water bill. Insulate by duct-taping pre-slit pipe foam (available at hardware stores) around exposed pipes in your home's crawl space or attic.
And don't forget the annual winterizing checklist
In addition to blocking the drafts, consider the following tips to help get your house or apartment ready for winter.
- Test your thermostat. Turn it to heat mode to make sure the furnace kicks on and blows warm air.
- Have the furnace inspected by a professional.Annual maintenance on your furnace will help ensure it's in good working order and catch any potential CO2 problems .
- Inspect and clean your roof and gutters. Clear debris from gutters and test downspouts for drainage to help drain ice melt away and possibly protect against ice dams and potential water damage .
- Turn off outdoor water supply. Make sure all exterior water spigots are turned off and all attached hoses or other devices are removed, drained, and properly stored.