But, how much difference does weatherstripping actually make, and are some types better than others. Writer Alyssa Davis expounds on this simple, yet very effective way of preserving your home’s thermal envelope as Winter approaches.
If you live in a newer home, chances are good that you never need to think about weather stripping. But for those of us who live in older homes, there are all kinds of cracks, spaces, and holes that allow warm air to escape during the cold months and cold air to escape during the warm months.
These drafts end up costing you more via increased energy bills, and can take away from the comfort of your home. But you can combat the problem with weather stripping.
Weatherstripping – what is it?
Weather stripping is a narrow piece of material that is made from vinyl, metal, rubber, foam, or felt, that works by sealing the contact area between the movable and fixed section of your doors and windows. This prevents air from coming in around the window or door by eliminating gaps.
For homes that are prone to drafts and leaks, weather stripping should be applied to all doors that lead to the exterior of the home, and to each window in the home. Weather stripping should also be applied to doors that lead to the garage and to attic or basement doors.
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Types of weatherstripping
You will find that there are a number of different options for you to select from when you install weather stripping in the home. Keep in mind that any kind and amount of weather stripping beats having none at all, but the better quality weather stripping you can buy, the better it will work at keeping air from moving in and out of your home. It is a wise move to buy the best brand on the market, and you can expect that the weather stripping you buy will pay for itself in no time.
In general, foam or sponge weatherstripping is super cheap but not very long-lasting or durable, and these types of materials tend to deteriorate if exposed to moisture and the elements. Vinyl is a durable and cost-effective option that provides a good seal and resists moisture.
For many applications, magnetic weather stripping is the best choice, since it creates a magnetized seal that protects sufficiently from drafts and leaks. Magnetic weather stripping is a bit more costly, but it is more effective than other options.
Importance of Weatherstripping
Just how vital is weather stripping to the older home that has tons of drafts? Very! In homes that have not yet been weatherized, there can be air leaks that account for as much as forty percent of the cooling or heating loss in the home, according to recent studies. Yes, that means that you’re heating and cooling the outside – what a big task. That is a significant amount of energy wasted – and a lot of dollars gone down the drain. But the damage doesn’t stop there.
Leaks and drafts are not just letting air in and out. These leaks are also damaging the insulation in the home. Moist, warm air that leaves the home during the winter can work to dampen the insulation, which makes it less effective at doing the job it is supposed to do. This makes it cost even more to heat and cool the home.
But, the addition of weather stripping to your doors and windows can make a real difference in the energy efficiency of your home and the enjoyment that you get out of the home when you can keep it at the ideal temperature using a relatively in expensive and low-tech solution.