3 Tips For Keeping The Cold Out Of Your Home This Winter
The Winter weather will be here before you know it. The air is already starting to get crisp and cooler outside and you do not want to try and heat the neighborhood this year like you may have in years passed. Today we will go over 3 things that you can do to help keep the cool out and the heat in so that you’re electric bill is not any higher than it needs to be.
1. Replace the weatherstrip around the doors and windows
Most exterior doors in most homes will have door jambs that are “kerfed” or that have a channel in the jamb that allows weatherstrip to tuck in. More often than not, the builder grade weatherstrip is low quality and can become brittle and crack or chip or wear away over time. If your home indeed has kerfed jambs (you can tell by trying to pull the weatherstrip straight back – if it pulls out then the jamb is kerfed but if it does not give way, it may be permanently attached). You can usually buy replacement weatherstrip from a local home improvement center or hardware strore. If the weatherstrip in your doors can not be easily removed, you may find the “stick-on” weatherstrip to be better suited. This type actually has a backing that peels off and leaves and sticky side that will adhere to your frame or jamb.
If you have any visible gaps that are letting light in – or if you can feel air coming in, you need to add or replace the weatherstrip as soon as possible. In most cases, you can replace it for about $30 per door (for singles) or $45 for doubles. Also, if the front door has a gap underneath, you can either replace the sweep with a new one or get a secondary sweep solution (pictured right) that will slide under the door itself and help to seal it when it is closed.
2. Caulk around doors and windows
A few tubes of caulking can go a long way in helping keep your home sealed from weather. Often the caulk seals around doors and windows get cracked or weathered, especially after a hot summer, and it needs to be re-applied. Sometimes it is best to remove as much of the old caulking as possible and sometimes you can just add on top of what is there. Caulking is available in many forms and colors. We recommend Alex brand acrylic latex caulking or Vulkem. Vulkem is the best thing in the industry as far as we are concerned but it is not available at most retail locations. Vulkem is a polyurethane sealant that is very strong and will prevent both water and wind from getting in.
You should check all doors and windows on the inside and outside. Make sure to look around the exterior perimeter of the casing or trim, as well as where the door jamb meets the trim. A gap or crack in the caulking in either spot can have an effect. This also helps to prevent moisture from getting in and potentially causing rot damage to your studs or frame.
3. Remove the casing and install Great Stuff insulation foam if needed
Great Stuff insulation foam is an excellent way to help keep the cool weather out. Many homes, especially those built before 2007 – do not have the foam insulation around the doors and windows. You can first check by standing near the casing of your door if it is cold out. If you can feel the cold, you probably do not have Great Stuff foam.
If you are not sure and want to check, simply remove the casing on either the interior or exterior, depending on the type of surfaces and trim that your home has. For example, if you have stucco on the exterior, you will need to pull off the inside trim. Get a utility knife to cut the caulk line all the way around and then use a “5 -in -1” or painters tool along with a hammer to carefully remove the trim. If you do not have foam or only have a small amount, go down and pick some up and put it in. It is easy to do and will save you a lot of energy costs. Just do not get any on yourself. It is very stick and not easy to get off! Make sure that you have a way to re-apply the casing or trim, either with a hammer and nail set or a compressor and nail gun.
Feel Free to Contact Heckard’s Door with any questions or concerns or if we can help you with any door solutions, new or not. In Gainesville, Florida call 352 376 0422 and in the Jacksonville area call 904 370 4967 or visit us at www.heckardsdoor.com for more information. We have answers to many questions on our Frequently Asked Questions page as well.