Weatherproofing a home can make it more energy-efficient and more comfortable. Cold weather can make leaks in the seals around windows, doors, and other areas in a home more pronounced. Ideally, homes can be weatherproofed before winter hits, but if not, there are some simple ways to identify areas that need attention.
Check for drafts around windows and if they are present, consider installing or replacing the window weather strip. Many different options are readily available in most hardware and big-box stores.
Plastic coverings are commonly available and are relatively simple to add to the inside of windows. They can help be particularly helpful in insulating old, drafty windows and can even be modified to fit windows with blinds to allow the sunshine to enter.
Storm windows can give an extra layer of protection from the cold air. For homes that have them, make sure the storm windows are installed properly, in good shape, and closed correctly.
Consider adding heavier drapes or shades to windows because they can also help keep out cold air. They can be kept closed during the night to stop drafts from around the window and frame. During the day, they can be opened to allow the heat from the sun to enter while insulating from cold air entering around the frame.
As with windows, check all around the door for drafts to see if weather stripping needs to be installed or replaced. If there is still cold air seeping through underneath the door, a door draft stopper can help. There are patterns and instructions for making them online, and pre-made versions are available for sale.
Something many people may not have considered is the cold air that can enter a home through electrical outlets. Particularly in older homes, there can help be a lack of insulation around the outlets that makes them similar to a hole in the wall. Foam padding is made to fit around electrical outlets and light switches and help plug up these holes and keep cold air from entering.
Attics and basements, if not insulated properly, can be a source of cold air entering the home. Some leaks may be obvious and the repairs simple, but the situation can be much more complex and may require a professional.
Weatherproofing windows and doors can make a big impact on the comfortableness and energy efficiency of a home. Many tasks are simple repairs, but others may require a professional because of their complexity.