Insulate Your Doors to Keep Your Heat
Why the proper door insulation plays such a major role when winter is finally here?
Winter is coming and for many, colder weather is already here. While low temperatures make some people very happy, one thing that no one likes is inefficient doors that don’t properly insulate a home that then lead to higher energy bills. You’re not paying to heat the outdoors, and the only way to make sure your money is going where you want it to is by making sure you know how to stop drafts around doors.
Finding a Draft
If you’ve been noticing a draft in your home, the first step to fixing it is discovering where it’s coming from. Your doors are one of the most likely culprits. Over time, insulation and weather seals can erode and sometimes your house settles and the door just doesn’t fit the frame the way it used to—this is often the case when your door sticks and squeaks as you try to open or close it. If your issue is the door fitting in the frame, you can often fix that by cleaning and tightening the hinges, sanding down parts of the door that are causing problems, or replacing the door entirely if nothing else works. But if your door doesn’t have this issue and you’re still getting drafts, you’re going to need to find the spots that air is coming through.
There are a few ways to identify a draft. When the weather is cold, you can run your hand around the door looking for cold spots. If you aren’t noticing cold spots because the weather is mild or there just isn’t enough wind, there are a few other ways to check for drafts. If you turn on all your exhaust fans and light a stick of incense, you can move the incense around the door. The fans will push the smoke from the incense through any gaps in your door’s insulation. You could also turn out all your lights and send a friend outside with a flashlight. As your friend passes the light around the door, the spots where the light peaks through to your side of the door will be your culprits.
Door insulation solutions
Once you know where the gaps in your door’s insulation are, you can start fixing the problems. If the draft is coming from the bottom of the door, a door insulation blanket or door snake may be the solution you need. These weighted cloth tools can be put securely against the bottom of your door to block air coming in from the outside and block heat from getting out. If you’re in a pinch and can’t get the proper materials, you can use a rolled up towel as a stop-gap measure. A towel will help stop a draft, but you’ll likely have to re-roll it every time you use your door.
If you have drafts coming in from other areas of your door, you’ll need to set up some exterior door insulation. One reason drafts develop around the top and sides of a door is caulk erosion. You’ll want to clear out any remaining old caulk and clean the area thoroughly before replacing it. After you’ve applied a new bead of caulk and made sure it is smooth and even and dry, check your door for drafty spots again. If you’re still getting them, apply another bead. That should do the trick. If you don’t need to replace any caulk, weatherstripping is probably the best option for you. Much like caulk, you can find weatherstripping pretty easily and by following the directions on the packaging, you can take care of your drafty issues.
But what happens when the drafts aren’t coming from the edges of your door, but from the windows that are built into the middle of the door? That can get a little more complicated. The problem is that, when a door has one or more windows built into it, the windows can be pretty fancy. A DIY fix here runs the risk of messing up the door’s look. But there are solutions. The wisest choice is to reach out and consult with a window inserts experts. Window insulation technology has gotten better and better over the last few years, so an efficient and inexpensive solution could be a phone call or email away.
There are so many things that you could spend your money on this winter. Whether you’re a cold-weather fan or just want to take a trip somewhere warm, you want to spend your money on stuff that will make you happy. Don’t throw your money away because your doors aren’t properly insulated.