Colder weather can cause your electricity bill to rise and even damage your home if you’re not prepared. The best way to protect your home and your wallet from the temperature shift is to prep your doors and windows to ensure a tight, weatherproof seal. In doing so, you’re ensuring that cold air doesn’t get in your home, as well as protecting your home’s most vulnerable points from water damage. To save you from future headaches, here’s how to prepare your doors and windows for the fall.
Look for Signs of Leaks or Drafts
Your doors and windows are essential components of keeping your home’s temperature regulated and protecting your home from water damage. That’s why it’s critical to check for any leaks and drafts before cold and inclement weather comes to your area. If you notice a buildup of condensation on your windowpanes, or you’re noticing an excessive amount of noise coming through your doors or windows, it may be time to check the seal.
If you’re not sure where the leaks are coming from, close all the doors and windows, turn on your ventilation systems, and light a candle. Trace the outline of your doors and windows with the candle and see if the smoke pulls towards it, and voila– you’ve found the source of the leak!
Clean and Maintain Doors and Windows
Before you start caulking or calling a repairman, there are a few things you should tackle first. The most important rule is to remove your window screens! Even if snow hasn’t hit your area, window screens can partially block the sun, meaning your AC has to work that much harder to warm your home. Additionally, if your screens aren’t made from the right non-corrosive material such as aluminum, inclement weather will damage them. Cold weather is one of the biggest culprits that reduce how long your window screens should last.
Once you’ve removed your screens, it’s time to inspect the operating hardware. If your doors or windows are difficult to open, now is the best time to lubricate them. If you do it before the cold weather hits, you reduce the risk of your hinges and sliding tracks freezing, jamming, or becoming difficult to open.
Repair and Seal Cracks and Openings
Once you’ve identified the problem and made sure everything is ready to go, you’re ready to seal your doors and windows. You can use caulk on your door and window frames. It’s best to do so on the exterior, around the door jambs, or around the joints where the frame and the wall meet. If you’re renting your space and can’t caulk, you can use rope caulk which works just as well—and it’s removable and reusable. Weather stripping is also a great option for those uncomfortable with using caulk or want something they can remove later on.
Prepping your home for weather changes can be incredibly easy. And now that you know how to prepare your doors and windows for the fall, you don’t have to worry about cold or inclement weather damaging your home.