The temperatures are quickly dropping here in the Barrie and Newmarket area, which usually means the gas fireplaces are on and its officially time to crank up the heat a little higher as we reach some bitter cold temperatures. While our yearly winter conditions are all too familiar and nothing we don’t expect, if you haven’t stopped to take a good look at the current status and quality of your home doors yet, you should make this a priority over the holiday season to keep your family and guests feeling warm and cozy.
This time of year, especially, most families are stretching their budgets thin to purchase Christmas presents for all their loved ones, which can be challenging for some households on top of the monthly utilities’ costs and mortgage payments also coming their way. All that said, the last thing you want to be doing is increasing your energy bills by turning up the furnace or taking out the space heaters on a bitter cold day, if you can help it.
So, what can you do to keep the heat in and the cold drafts out that doesn’t necessarily involve your bills to increase dramatically?
Be Sure Your Doors are Winterized
For starters you want to ensure there are no air leaks. Winterizing your doors is one of the best ways to minimize your energy costs. According to Natural Resources Canada, up to 35% of your energy use can escape through doors and windows that lack proper sealing. Fortunately, you need only a few low-cost items to detect and seal air leaks.
If your home is older, you may require professional door replacement all together, which Kempenfelt Windows and Doors can gladly assist you with. However, if there is only a slight draft noticeable, you may be able to get away with improving your home’s energy efficiency levels, with just a few DIY steps that won’t break the bank.
To check for leaks, evaluate the insulating weather-strip that surrounds your exterior doors. Next, there are a couple of things you can experiment with. Try closing the door and running your hand along the edge from the inside or light a stick of incense and hold it close to the edge, still from the inside. These tests work best on a windy day, because you’ll be able to identity airflow and the spots through which air is escaping from the house. If you’ve confirmed there to be noticeable leaks, you may be able to improve the seal by trying the following:
Apply Weather Stripping Around Your Door Frame
While applying the weather stripping, ensure you’re still able to close your door completely. For more substantial leaks or wider leaks, you might want to try applying additional weather stripping.
Turn to Caulking for Holes Surrounding the Door Frames
Be sure to fill all visible holes and cracks with caulk, looking for any openings on both the inside and outside of the doorframe. It’s possible you’ll need to remove mouldings around the door to access gaps surrounding the frame. Be extremely careful while removing this moulding as doing it quickly could cause damage to your wall. Always wait until the first layer of caulking is completely dry before reapplying an extra layer (if needed).
Place a Draft Guard at the Bottom of the Door
A draft guard can be a handy and effective resource for keeping those chilly winds from entering your home. Try placing a draft guard between the bottom of your exterior door and the threshold. Don’t have a draft guard? Sometimes rolling up a towel and situating it neatly at the base of the door provides the same results.
Consider Adding a Storm Door
Installing a storm door can be a great way to protect your home from intense winter weather conditions. Basically, the additional door acts as an extra barrier from the outside elements, which means you’ll notice a reduction in the amount of cold airflow that would otherwise reach your exterior doors. Finally, always check that you close your exterior doors all the way; for instance, a deadbolt will help to improve your door’s seal.
If the above tips don’t make a difference in maintaining heat within your home, please get in touch with the professionals. An expert windows and doors company will come to your home and inspect the state of your doors. It is quite possible that a replacement door may be the only solution to guarantee there are no leaks. Again, this will depend on how old your doors are and if there is any damage.
Have questions about winterizing your doors and windows still? Reach out to Kempenfelt Windows and Doors. Our professionals will work with you to determine an appropriate solution for your unique requirements, providing guidance every step of the way.
We hope you stay warm and comfortable this Holiday Season! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all.