How to weatherproof your home for energy efficiency

July 29, 2015

Weather-proofing your home makes your heating and cooling systems more efficient and keeps your costs low. Here are some smart ways to get started.

How to weatherproof your home for energy efficiency

Consider draft-proofing your home

Incoming drafts at any time of the year reduce comfort and add to heating and cooling costs.

  • Draft-proofing is usually the cheapest and easiest form of energy improvement as most jobs can be carried out using simple materials.
  • Heat leaks and drafts are likely to occur through unused fireplaces and chimneys, openings around doors, gaps between windows and frames, gaps between walls and skirting boards, and building joints.

The right way to seal a fireplace

Fireplaces can be sealed when not in use by placing a damper in the throat of the chimney and closing it, or by installing a panel in a fireplace opening.

How to seal windows and doors

Windows and doors can be sealed against the weather in a number of ways:

  • Openings and cracks around doors and windows can be sealed using draft stoppers which are strips of rubber or foam fixed to an edge or frame and designed to compress or overlap sufficiently to make a tight seal. Adhesive weatherseals are available in a variety of shapes and can achieve the same purpose.
  • Adhesive-foam strips are easy to apply but are unsuitable for vertical surfaces where the side of a sash window rubs against the frame.
  • Foam can also be used around door frames.
  • For proper weather-proofing, the vertical edges of doors require different treatment than thresholds. Install a strip of fine nylon bristles or a compressible rubber strip to give a friction-free seal.
  • For a simple seal between door and floor, use a flexible sweep screwed to the door bottom. For a complete seal, a channel of metal with vinyl inserts can be screwed to the floor or the door ­bottom.

A simple solution for wall cracks

Cracks between walls and skirting boards, or at building joints, can be sealed with a variety of fillers using a caulking gun or a putty knife.

  • It is advisable to determine the cause of the crack first and whether the opening is likely to expand or contract. Then talk to someone at your local building centre to figure out the best sealer for the job.

Remember these tips for sealing unwanted drafts and create a comfortable home that will save you money!

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