Weatherstripping – Minimal Effort for Maximum Comfort & Protection

Published on: January 17, 2014

Potentially one of the most simple, affordable and effective ways to achieve complete home comfort is weatherstripping. There are many types of weatherstripping materials designed for different applications, but the primary function of weatherstripping is to lower energy costs, improve indoor air quality, maintain balanced humidity and protect a home from the elements. If you’re looking to enhance the comfort and energy efficiency of your household, understanding the importance of weatherstripping is a perfect place to start.

Where to Add Weatherstripping

Seal air leaks which may be allowing conditioned air to escape or outside air to seep in. A good method for doing this is to have a friend trace the borders of a door or window with a flashlight at night while you watch from the other side. Any cracks, fissures or gaps will be visible where light comes through. Pre-existing weatherstripping may be in need of replacement and many local contractors can do this for you quickly, but other times this job can be done by yourself with the right materials and know-how.

How to Apply Weatherstripping

  • Doors – Use felt weatherstripping to help seal the door jamb tightly. Some self-seal plastic or vinyl weatherstripping materials can be placed along the top and sides of the door as well. For the bottom, consider purchasing an aluminum or stainless steel door sweep to keep conditioned air inside the home. Many homeowners may also benefit from a door draft stopper also.
  • Windows – There are a myriad of ways to seal air leaks in windows. Many prefer to use reinforced silicone to create the strongest seal while tubular rubber, vinyl or foam weatherstripping materials may also be useful. For sliding windows, a tension seal or magnetic seal similar to those found on refrigerators may work best. If you’re uncertain what materials to use when weatherizing your home, contact a local HVAC contractor for advice or discuss the type of windows and doors you have with a staff member at a nearby hardware store.

Benefits of Weatherstripping

Sealing your house with the right materials can really help to increase the comfort and decrease the energy costs of any home. A number of health problems can stem from having poor indoor air quality caused by air leaks, mold or unbalanced humidity levels. There is also a great deal of monetary incentive to invest in materials to make renovating a home with energy efficiency in mind. Here are just a few benefits to protecting your home’s windows and doors with various weatherstrip materials.

  • Increased indoor air quality – Improving indoor air quality is a breeze when all windows and doors have been properly sealed against the elements. Achieving balanced humidity is much easier when air leaks are fixed. When humidity levels rise too high, mold can grow and severe damage can be caused to furniture, artwork or other valuables. When humidity levels fall too low, asthma or allergy symptoms can be aggravated. Also, low humidity increases one’s likelihood of developing cold or flu symptoms. This may be due to the fact that fine hairs in the nose work much better to filter viruses or particulates in environments with balanced humidity. When humidity falls too low, these hairs aren’t able to work properly, allowing contaminants in the air to enter the lungs. By simply applying weatherstripping throughout the home, many of these problems can be alleviated altogether.
  • Lower energy costs – The best part about investing in affordable weatherstripping is that it immediately translates to energy savings in the home. For a fair price and minimal effort, a large chunk of any homeowner’s monthly bill can be greatly reduced. An air conditioner or heater must work much harder to maintain indoor air temperature when air is leaking through doors and windows. This increased work load will not only cost you more money, but will also reduce your A/C unit’s life span and increase the probability of needing to repair or replace the unit in the future.

To get help with weatherstripping in your Southeast U.S. home, contact AC Southeast® today for assistance.