draft proof your home

Draft-Proof Your Home

Project Overview

Heat is commonly lost through windows that have been improperly fitted or have cracked panes and loose weather-stripping. Draft-proofing your home will not only improve your comfort and keep your home warmer in the winter, it will also save you energy and money, reduce outdoor noise and stop insects from moving in.

Steps

    Step 1

    Test your windows for leaks and drafts by holding a lit candle in front of them. If the smoke from the candle swirls, it means you have an air leak.

    Step 2

    Leaks can be easily corrected by placing caulk around the window. Be sure to use clear caulk around outer edges so that you don't have worry about matching paint colours. Replace broken or cracked panes with new glass immediately.

    Air leaks around windows and door frames account for some of the biggest sources of heat loss in your home.
    Use interior plastic window sheeting to further weatherize your windows. Simply tape the sheet of plastic to the inside edges of the window with double-sided tape. You can also use weatherstripping along the length and width of the window.

    Step 3

    Install a door sweep at the bottom edge of doors to prevent warm air from escaping when a door is shut.
    For sliding doors, you can install closed-cell foam weather stripping inside the door. The self-adhesive backing will hold the stripping in place.

    Step 4

    To seal in the heat and prevent insects from entering the home, seal around baseboards of your interior walls and floors.
    Use a flat pry bar to remove your baseboard mouldings so that you can easily see any cracks that may exist between the floor and wall. Use spray foam to fill the cracks you find.
    ***Warning: Spray foam should not be used next to chimneys or flues. Instead, sheet metal and high temperature caulk should be used because of the intense heat. When using expandable spray foam and caulk always wear gloves and safety goggles.

    Step 5

    Walk around your home and check the seams between exterior walls, doors and windows. If there are small cracks, fill them with caulk. Using a caulk gun, you can seal up the cracks between the outside of the home and some common openings including: dryer vents, outdoor electrical wires, pipes and water spigots. If cracks around your spigots and vents are more than ½ inch, use expandable spray foam instead of caulk.

    Exterior-facing outlets can also let drafts in. To stop drafts, install foam gaskets behind the plate and insert plastic plug covers to prevent additional drafts.