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Lower Heating Costs with Weather Stripping

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Lower Heating Costs with Weather Stripping

November 2014
 

Regardless of the season, you're probably looking for ways to combat rising heating and cooling costs. Drafty doors allow cold air to constantly seep in, lowering the temperature of your home. Fortunately, weather stripping a door is a project that anyone can complete, but it's only effective when done properly.

Before you can begin, you'll need to clean the door and the door jamb with soapy water. It's important to clean the jamb thoroughly, because the dirt can cause the adhesive on the weather stripping to fail. Fine-grit sandpaper can be used to remove any remaining debris. You'll then need to measure the width between the door and the jamb as well as the width of the jamb itself. The distance between the door and the jamb determines the thickness of the weather stripping, and the the width of the jamb determines the width of the stripping. After measuring twice, you'll want to determine which type of stripping best suits your needs.

There are a variety of materials used to make weather stripping, each with its pros and cons. Felt striping is inexpensive, but it isn't very durable. This option is best reserved for doors that are rarely used. Foam is slightly more expensive and more durable than felt, but it's not as expensive or durable as rubber stripping. Rubber stripping is a bit more challenging to install, because it must be nailed into place. After measuring and selecting a material, it's time to install the weather stripping.

You'll need to cut the weather stripping into three pieces; one for the top and one for each side. Some products feature an adhesive strip that only needs to be peeled and pushed into place. The stripping should stick to the jamb itself and not the door. To complete the job, add a door sweep to keep cold air from entering from beneath the door. Door sweeps come in standard sizes, but they can be adjusted with a hacksaw. Use the screws provided with the door sweep and pre-drill holes for them if the screws aren't self-tapping. You should also be sure the sweep forms a tight seal with the threshold. It should take no longer than an hour to complete the task, and your home will be warmer all winter long.

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