Holiday Break #6 Dodge Drafts get Cozy and Comfortable Home

in Build Green - Energy,Build Green - Home,Energy Efficiency,Home Improvement,Uncategorized

Save money, Save Energy, Stay Warm this Winter

Enjoy your holiday but don’t forget to take care of yourself.  Here’s the next in this 12 part series:

The temperature is dropping, too much to do, and when you finally sit down for a break, there’s an annoying current of cold air nipping at your feet. It’s like frigid Grinch fingers reaching under your doors and windows robbing you of your holiday happiness, you’ve been reminded about the gaps and cracks in your old house.

If you really want Christmas comfort, take a few minutes and use at least one of these four draft dodgers. If you don’t, excess air leakage can increase your heating and cooling bills by 30% says the Department of Energy.

Your Fastest Temporary Fix: Until you can replace the door sweep

and warped threshold, use this inexpensive device – Hampton Direct  Twin Draft Guard Extreme, $15-19.  It’s a pair of cloth-covered foam tubes that slides under your door to block incoming drafts. I like it because it’s easy to size and install. The door swings over tile, wood and carpeting and the device stays in place. It’s unobtrusive brown and easily washable.  These draft stoppers can also be used for windows as well.

Try this: Shut a door or window on a piece of paper. If you can pull the paper out without tearing it, you’re losing energy also, if you can see daylight around a door or window frame, then the door or window leaks.

Fastest Semi-permanent Door, Window & Attic Hatch Fix: If you have a little more time, install weather

Extreme Window Sealer

stripping upon the door frame and attic hatch moulding. Don’t feel alone because millions of older doors around the country have little to no weather stripping.

High density, adhesive-backed foam or tape for doors and hatches like Frost King R516H rubber foam is easy and fast.

It fills the gaps and keeps the weather out. If you’re concerned about keeping the line straight, use a metal edge or wooden yard stick as a guide.

Admittedly dealing with windows takes more time, but could be worth the effort if you are bothered by leaky frames. Frost King V25wa Extreme Rubber Weather-stripping is a premium weather barrier worth considering.

Long term, plan on replacing the poorly performing originals with Energy Star doors and windows.

‘Annoying Window’ Fix: Maybe it’s the glass and not the frame that is cause of discomfort. Energy efficient cellular (or honeycomb) shades are quickly and easily installed in your windows. Cellular shades save on heating bills by trapping a layer of air between the glass/frame and fabric cells. The more layers, like triple cell shades, the more insulting effects you get.  Shades both retard infiltrating cold air, and delay escape of your expensive interior heat.

Price per window start at $35 depending upon the cell thickness and quality. You can also get up to $500 in federal tax credit on your 2011 taxes when you invest in shades with energy saving side tracks.
Thermally insulated glass in good shape can still benefit from cellular shades, but you’ll notice the most significant comfort improvement by covering older, leaky windows.

Worth-the-time Hidden Leak Fix: Ignore it or not, winter weather is like a heat-seeking missile and relentlessly finds house cracks like un-caulked electric outlets to sneak inside. Once in, the cold air drops to the floor creating drafts.

Place inexpensive foam gaskets around all of your light switches and electric plugs to arrest the frigid invasion.  See Build That Green’s How-To video Draftproof Plugs and Switches at the bottom of the Video Theater page:

Constantly adjusting your thermostat isn’t the answer to dealing with drafty rooms. You may have less time right now for a long term fix to the issue, but for now you can feel good about a quick fix so everybody will be comfortable and cozy!

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