All of the windows on my house are considered energy efficient. However, even the most highly rated doors and windows will still leak air a little bit due to the fact that windows are made to open and close and the builder had to cut a hole in the wall to install it. Not to mention, most usually have thin brush weatherstripping ( brush pile weather strip looks like this ) which in my opinion is utterly useless. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)
Or at least the stuff on my windows and sliding patio door proved to be when the candle flame I carefully ran along them danced a crazy samba indicating there was air leaking through the brush weather stripping instead of stopping the air from escaping which is what weatherstripping is supposed to do.
Tip: If you do not feel comfortable putting an open flame next to your windows and doors due to the potential fire risk, you can check for air leaks by running a stick of incense (you can buy incenses sticks here) or a smoke pen (learn more about air leak detecting smoke pens here) around the area where the door or window and the wall meet. If the flame/smoke moves in the slight breeze it is leaking air.
I also had air leaking around my sliding patio doors, exterior doors, and surprisingly under the doors to the closets on exterior walls. This is something you really want to fix because warm heated indoor air is drawn to cold outside air (and vice versa during the summer months) which means your heating or air conditioning system needs to use more energy and work harder to maintain the indoor temperature you set on your thermostat – which is why your heating or cooling bill is so high.
Fortunately there is an easy fix – add weather stripping to your windows and doors! How do know this works? Because way back when this blog was just a baby I challenged my family to reduce our home energy use by 20% using what came new with our house (and most were not rated super water/energy efficient) and cheap home improvements. It was a year long project and we did not meet our goal – we beat it. We reduced our home energy use by 32% while staying toasty warm in the winter and cool in the summer. One the keys to our success was applying 5 bucks worth of foam weather stripping tape to the bottom of my window sashes – and it was the cheap stuff like this exact roll of foam adhesive window weather stripping – locally made in Ohio. Woot.
How to Save Money on Heating and Cooling with Cheap Weather Stripping
I need to replace the weather stripping on the windows of my condo because it will compress over time. It is a good time to write a quick and easy tutorial for you.
You will need:
Step by Step How to Do It Tutorial
1. Open the window and remove the old weatherstripping if needed.
2. Use the scissors to cut a piece of weather-stripping to the size of the bottom of your window sash.
3. Remove the backing from the weather stripping and stick it the bottom of the window sash. It’s. That. Easy.
A cheap way to keep in the heat!
How to Weatherstrip Sliding Doors and Windows
Sometimes an air leak is so obvious it practically hits you in the face like the huge gap in between my sliding patio doors. Sliding doors and vertical sliding windows can be tricky to weather-strip and seal to prevent drafts and leaking air if you need to use the door during the winter but it is not impossible.
Somewhere in the cavern between my sliding doors is supposed to be brush pile weather-stripping.
The weather stripping technique is the same as with windows, although the product is slightly different. I bought this silicone sealing strip weather stripping on Amazon and peeled off the sticky tape and stuck it on the door covering the gap.
We can still use the door with the silicone sliding door weather stripping in place although the friction caused by of opening and closing the door or window can loosen the adhesives. No worries! It has an easy fix. I glued the loose area to the door frame with a bit of E6000. I recommend E6000 (you can learn more about E6000 glue here) because it is made to glue two different types of material to each other forever.
How to Weatherstrip Doors
Weatherstrippng doors are tricky because they are opened and closed so often. This can make adhesive door weatherstripping come loose and you can’t replace cloth draft blockers against the door once you and shut the door and leave the house (although using an under door double draft stopper like this kind will stay in place when you shut the door behind you.)
Personally I have had success by installing these metal door sweeps to the bottom of my front and back doors to the outside. I measured the bottom of the door (you may need to it to size with a rotary tool like this one. I held the metal draft blocker to the door and marked the screw holes with a pencil and drilled a pilot hole with an electric drill and screwed the door draft dodger to the door with a hand screw driver. Quick and easy!
For the closet doors on exterior walls as well as the door to my laundry room, I tacked a cloth draft stopper similar to the one to inside the bottom of the doors with upholstery tacks like these because they are hollow core doors and again, the adhesive wouldn’t stick after opening the doors eleventy billion times.
If you don’t want to tack anything to the door you can also use a twin draft stopper like this on the bottom of your door. I have those on the doors to my utility room. They work great!
Looking for more heating and cooling saving ideas? Check out the following options – and more! – below!