Door weatherstripping can make a bigger difference to your energy bills than you'd expect. Closing all of those tiny gaps that allow cold drafts to circulate can save you up to 30 percent on your energy bill. Those type of savings are definitely worth investing a little time and money in the simple weatherstripping process. Follow the easy steps below to eliminate those irritating drafts.
Step 1 – Locate Gaps
Check the doors around your home to see if any of them require weatherstripping. Although there may be some drafts that you already know about, you should check all of the doors as you may be surprised how many of them have a small gap. An easy method of testing the door seals is to stand on one side of a closed door with a hair dryer and blow air around the edges. Have a friend on the other side check with their hands whether they can feel any of the air getting through.
Step 2 – Take Measurements
Measure each of the areas where you need to install weatherstripping then add all the figures together to get a total. Add 5-10% extra for wastage so that you don't run short. Depending on the type of weatherstripping you purchase you may also allow extra allowances for cutting.
Step 3 – Choose Weatherstripping
There are a range of methods to weatherstrip your doors. The easiest to install are adhesive backed foam or felt. Other types include tubular rubber or vinyl, magnetic strips and interlocking metal strips. The metal strips require specialized cutting materials and can be difficult to install so it is recommended you employ a professional to install them. Ask in the home improvement store for advice about the best style for your requirements and budget.
Step 4 – Clean Edges
Before you begin to install foam weatherstripping you should clean the surfaces it will be stuck to so that it can form a secure bond. Dirt and dust will prevent the glue from sticking and lead to the weatherstripping peeling off after a short period of time. Use warm, soapy water and a cloth to wipe the door edges down then dry them with a cloth.
Step 5 – Install Foam Strips
Measure each edge then cut the foam strips to the correct length with scissors. Move the strip into position and begin to peel the backing tape away from one end. Don't remove the whole backing tape at once because you will most likely end up with the strip sticking to itself. Line the foam up and press it into position, slowly peeling away the backing tape as you work your way along the edge. Repeat this process for each area where you found a draft.
Step 6 – Install Door Sweeps
If draughts are coming under your doors a door sweep is an easy and effective way to cut them out. A door sweep has a brush of plastic, sponge or felt attached to a metal or plastic strip that is secured to the bottom of your door. They should be installed in the interior side of an in-swinging door or the exterior side out one that swings outwards.