Houses just like humans, can also get affected by seasonal changes and weather conditions requiring occasional repairs & re-modeling for long-term sustainability. These repairs don’t always come cheap and many can dive deep into your pockets. So, what would you do if your house had drafty leaks and cracks that require attention, making you feel uncomfortable in your own home? Simple, find a buyer, sell your house, and then buy a new one. Or, go back to living with your parents.
Jokes aside, everyone loves the changing of the seasons. The weather changes, seasonal fruits & vegetables, and the beautiful change in foliage. Unfortunately, there’s another side too, as it takes only a windy breeze and a drafty window to make you wear extra layers of clothing. While during the summer, the loss of cool air through the leaky gaps or the duct issues could be the reason you’re driving your electricity consumption unnecessarily high.
So here are some quick DIY solutions that’ll help you fix your drafty homes, or at least get you through the next spring, hopefully-
Seal Those Air Leaks
One of the low-tech ways of finding air leaks is to use your hand. If there’s a temperature difference between your room and the outside, you can easily tell by feeling the cold air entering. Other effective ways are to use flame or smoke to detect streams of moving air. You can flick a lighter near the window and if the window’s leaky, you could see the breeze flicker the flame.
Now, with window drafts spotted, to seal them, use spray foam and caulk, they fix mostly all air leaks. You could also you weather stripping sticks to cover the gaps in order to avoid leaks. Some people also use plastic sheets, but that doesn’t look very attractive.
Use Door Sweeps To Block Dust
Door Sweeps do much more than removing mud from the outsole of your shoes, they remain attached to the bottom of your door and plug the gap between the door and the frame. It stops all the dust and dirt from entering your home.
You could get a door sweep and pin to the bottom of the floor, we’d suggest to use a wooden one and paint it to match your door’s color.
Examine Duct Issues In The AC
Ever felt that the cooling isn’t kicking in, even if there are no drafty leaks in your home? Then it’s probably your air conditioner’s ducts leaking air from tiny duct holes. These holes are enough to make cooling inefficient, only causing further harm to the appliance.
Examine the ductwork along the wall or floor or the surface used to set it up at your home. Look for tiny spots of dirt on the ducts and the surface (walls or floor), these spots indicate that there’s a leak in your AC’s ducts. To further repair, you should call a professional.
Damaged ducts are a common issue, and mostly unavoidable if you regularly use your air conditioner. One long term solution is to shift towards a ductless AC.
Insulate Water Pipes
This may sound absurd to you, but it is extremely important if you live in a cold place. Most of the water pipes traverse along the outside walls of the house, thus they’re directly exposed to the weather changes. Cover your water pipes with any form of insulation, you could even cut jute sacks and turn them into covers.
If a water pipe freezes and breaks, then you’re looking at a frustrating few hours or days depending on when you get a plumber to do the repair. This tip is more about being proactive and avoiding undesirable messes.
Some Additional Tips for Drafty Houses
- There are other cost-efficient ways to fix draft windows- use bubble wraps or plastic wraps to stop leaks from drafty windows and doors.
- Make sure your attic hatch is airtight and it is not sagging from the ceiling. If the door’s coming off slightly, then you might need to re-install the tension spring.
- If you have got a fireplace, make sure the damper remains closed to minimize leaks. If you still experience leaks, you might have to cover it up with chimney plugs.
- Not much of DIY tip, but easy- use blackout curtains on your windows to keep the outside heat from affecting your room temperature.
Now it’s time you go hunt and track down all the spots in your home that require fixing. It is an intelligent and proactive step to making your home comfortable. But, remember, these fixes can only do so much if your appliances and build are inherently inefficient. For the longer run, consider replacing them with energy-efficient alternatives.
Greg Morgan is an editor at PowerSave AC. He loves writing about home improvement, DIY interior decorating ideas, and HVAC covering topics for residential and commercial space.