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Ways to Weatherize Windows And Doors

Do you want to keep the heat inside and the cold air outside? If so, listen up.

You may never have realized, but windows are the major source of heat loss in a home even if they are properly fitted and maintained.

They are the thinnest part of the building's skin and with metal frames which conduct heat, are very inefficient protection against the elements.

Doors are another area of the outer shell which can warp, crack, and if not fitted correctly, waste your precious heating efforts.

There are some simple steps you can take which will weatherize your doors and windows that will cost you little more than time and simple DIY tools, but save significant amounts on your energy bills.

Windows should be checked for the following; Does the window close? If catches are broken or loose, replace or tighten to reduce drafts.

Is your window buckled or fitted badly? As part of the skeleton of the building it will be affected by ground subsidence over time and warp or buckle. This may require refurbishing or even replacement, but if this is outside your budget consider insulation strips to reduce the effects of drafts and air leaks.

Is the window double glazed? If the window is badly warped then replacement should include double glazing, but retrofitting of existing windows even in the main rooms you live in will have a marked effect on the heat retention of the room. It is also a good idea to install energy efficient windows to reduce heat loss.

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You can get professional companies to do this but kits can be purchased for installation if you have some basic skills.

Secondary glazing, which is the mounting of a separate pane of glass over the original, is a cheap alternative but not as effective at heat retention.

Has the window been cracked or broken? Obviously drafts through a break will be a serious cause of heat loss but they will also be dangerous. Replacement when possible should be considered, but even seal with tape as an interim measure.

Have you got thermally lined curtains? Even ordinary curtains will be effective where there are none at present, but you can make thermally lined curtains cheaply or even buy them from recycling shops as well.

Doors are not as much of a problem, but on the exterior of a home there are some things to look for... Do you have large keyholes or a letter flap in the door? You can seal these with flaps or brushes, but the best idea is to replace the key hole with a fully sealed lock.

Does the catch on the door fit properly? If you have a poor closing door it may remain slightly ajar and be a major draft problem. Check all fittings and hinges to ensure the door hangs correctly.

Are there any gaps around the door when closed? Seals and door brushes may solve this problem but you may have to replace a wooden door if it has badly warped over time.

Consider a door curtain over doors that are infrequently used during winter. If they are weighted at the bottom they will be very effective at excluding drafts. Reducing leaks around one door will prevent that breezy feeling throughout the house.

If you are working to a limited budget, look at least at tightening all loose fittings and hinges on windows and doors as part of pre-winter maintenance. Strip insulation is quite inexpensive but will look shabby over time, and may need replacing on some regularly open fittings.

Weatherizing will save you substantially on heating in cold winters and even minimal efforts will be worthwhile, so check each room and check off the quick fixes and longer term projects from the above to make your home warm and energy efficient.

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