Nothing’s worse than a winter draft cutting straight through your clothes! A chilly home in Minnesota is a major nuisance in the winter – a time when all you want is to curl up on the couch with a cozy blanket and a hot drink.
Not only do drafts interfere with your well-deserved me-time, though; They also can be a major drag on your energy bills.
Think about it: If your house is poorly insulated as a result of drafts, your HVAC system will need to work all the harder in order to compensate. You’ll owe more to your power company, sure, but you’ll also set yourself up for needing costly repairs come spring.
In short, drafts are no good, and they must be snuffed out quickly to maintain your home’s comfort levels, your HVAC’s longevity, and your winter energy budget. Tony’s Lifetime Exteriors is here to help.
As siding contractors and window installation pros, we know all about how to draft-proof your home. You’ll find a few tips below!
Before you invest in draft-busting solutions, it’s good to know if you have drafts in the first place. A variety of things can cause spotty chilliness in the wintertime.
It’s a common HVAC problem, for example, to have floors heated unevenly, and a poor roofing balance between insulation and ventilation can also lead to having problems with heating your home. To learn more on that subject, check out our roofer blog Poor Roofing Ventilation: Descriptions and Consequences.
Regardless of your suspicions, there are plenty of simple ways to check for drafts in your home. It’s a bit more detailed in this article on the subject, but the scoop can be boiled down to the following:
- Listen and feel for drafts near windows, outlets, and doors. Whooshing noises and cold spikes are dead giveaways.
- Use a candle near draft-prone locations; a wavering flame indicates a draft.
- Use daylight to find drafts. Darken your home by pulling the curtains and searching for cracks of light that indicate drafts.
Understanding where drafts tend to crop up helps this process go much more quickly. Check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s comprehensive list for the whole picture.
Generally, though, you’ll want to inspect windows first, as they serve as liaisons between your interior and exterior, hence a high propensity for drafts.
You’ll also want to take a look at doors that link your interior and exterior for similar reasons.
Finally, the corners of your siding also tend to be problem areas, though they’re a bit hard to inspect with traditional methods and might be best left to a siding contractor if they’re of concern.
Just as there are multiple ways to find drafts, there are multiple ways to fix them. And the best one will relate to your current situation more than anything else.
If your windows, roof or siding needs some draft reduction, the first step is to always contact a siding company, roofing contractor, or window replacement team. They’ll be able to give you an itemized action plan, recommending any of the following.
These products are by no means be-all-end-calls when it comes to beating drafts, though they’re frequently talked about as if they are. Caulk and weatherstripping can work when applied by a pro in a pinch, but they’re no substitute for good craftsmanship or replacing broken home aspects when needed.
If you think your windows or doors just need a bit of help to get through the winter before you can afford to replace them, get a pro to your property to patch things up; caulking is a lot harder than it looks!
Whether it’s for your roof or siding, your pro might recommend a simple mechanical fix to get rid of your drafts: adding more insulation to the building.
While this might seem like an easy enough task to do on one’s own, it comes with quite a few hidden dangers, such as working at potential high heights or accidental misuse of a product.
A pro will also be able to finish the job much more quickly than the average homeowner, as they have long familiarized themselves with problem areas and know exactly what to seal, and what to leave open.
Caulk and weatherstripping have their places, but if your windows have broken seals – meaning the area between the panes is no longer airtight – you’ll probably need to replace them for a lasting solution.
It’s not just drafts from your windows, but poor insulating properties too, that can cause an indoor chill, hence why getting a pro on-scene is your best bet.
Another relatively simple fix for drafts is adding in or replacing old door sweeps. If you’ve noticed extra air is getting in under doorways, be sure to check the condition of current door sweeps. They may be fraying or worn down.
And, if you don’t have any at all, installing some can reduce those under-the-door drafts.
Before winter starts is a great time to update your door sweeps and your weather stripping.
If you aren’t looking to replace drafty windows, a cheaper alternative is purchasing insulated drapes or blinds. These can keep out extra air and help your home have better temperature regulation. Cellular shades are another good option.
The only downside is that many insulated window treatments, like most drapes, work best when they’re kept closed. So, you can lose a lot of natural light this way.
Dealing with a drafty home? This problem can make a living in your home uncomfortable and also raise your energy bills. So, if you need help fixing or upgrading your siding, doors, or windows, get in touch with Tony’s Lifetime Exteriors.
From siding installation to window replacement, we’ve got all the skills needed to create a draft-free home. Give our Sauk Rapids office a call today at 320-252-9086.