How to fix a drafty room and windows

Steps to winterize a drafty room and windows

As Old Man Winter rears his head, you might have noticed a room or two in your home is colder than the others. If you’ve felt these drafts, you may need to winterize.

Air leaking into and out of your home can be a major source of energy loss. Drafts are most likely felt around windows and doors, but they can be found in the attic and basement too.

There’s the science.

During winter, warm air rises through your house and probably into your attic. If the warm air is escaping into the attic, then it’s pulling cold air in through cracks around your windows and doors.

Locate the leak

Locating these attic leaks can be difficult because they are often hidden under your insulation. Even though you can’t see them, trust us, they are there. The most likely culprit is rim joist cavities. You should seal these at the top and bottom of the inside of the cavity. Caulk is best for sealing gaps or cracks that are a quarter-inch or less but use spray foam to fill gaps from a quarter-inch to about 3 inches.

We also recommend you seal penetrations that go through the basement ceiling to the floor above. Generally, these are holes for wires, water supply pipes, water drain pipes, the plumbing vent stack (for venting sewer gases), and the furnace flue (for venting furnace exhaust).

Examine other areas of concern

Once those holes are filled, you should look to your windows, doors and other places, like electrical outlets, light fixtures, and gaps in corners, that can cause rooms to feel drafty.

Again, caulk is the best option for cracks that are a quarter-inch or less but use spray foam for anything bigger up to about 3 inches. Anything bigger and you should call in help.

You can also add weather stripping around windows to reduce drafts. Storm windows can also increase efficiency.

If your windows are single pane or damaged, it’s probably time to replace them with new energy-efficient windows.

Winterizing and finding those nooks and crannies can have an unintended effect of reducing the ways for pests to enter your homes. Mice can slip through a space as small as the thickness of a pencil. That means stink bugs, spiders and other creepy crawlies can get in too.

If you are looking to lower your electric bill with replacement windows, contact Quality Exteriors for a consultation.