SALT LAKE CITY — Whether you're cozying up in front of a fire or settling down for a long winter's nap, there's nothing like drafty windows or doors to (literally) chill the mood. As the official winter season approaches, make sure you're not losing heat, money and cheer because you haven't draft-proofed your home.
Chances are, if your heater is on and you still feel a chill in the air, your home isn't sealed as well as it could be. There are a few areas that are more likely the cold-air culprits. Here are some tips on how to find the likely chill offenders:
Tap or knock on your windows. Windows that rattle with movement or wind are often poorly sealed.
Moisture or condensation: Double-pane windows are popular because they're energy efficiency. But a poor or broken seal will cause moisture to develop inside the panes. And when a double-pane window has a broken seal, it's not only causing you to lose heat, but money as well.
Water damage: Check for water damage, water stains, mold or bubbling paint near or around window sill corners. These are all signs of a poorly sealed window.
Frost buildup: Take a look at your window frame material. Metal frames are highly conductive to cold and hot temperatures, creating drafts and cold air penetration. Frost buildup on metal frames allows moisture on the interior of the home.
Foggy glass: If your window has developed fog between the panes this is a sure sign of a broken seal.
Single-pane windows: Because single pane windows do not have a sealed pocket of inert gas, cold air more easily seeps into a home during the winter while warm air seeps out. That might be leaving you with chilly toes.
Door threshold: The door threshold is one of the most important safeguards against drafts, energy leaks and water. A rotten or worn threshold is important to replace, as it can lead to damage deeper within the floor.
Drafty Door: Light a match or candle and move it along the perimeter of your door. If you see the flame flickering (or worse, blown out altogether,) the weather stripping or door sweep may be worn out.
Close the door and then pull the doorknob without turning it. If your door rattles or moves, it's probably not sealed as well as it should be.
Cracked Door: Wooden doors are a popular choice for their aesthetic, but over time they can develop cracks, letting cold air into your home. Hold a flash light behind the door, have someone on the other side look for light coming through a crack in the door.
Door material: Take a look at the material construction of your door. Metal doors are highly conductive to cold and hot temperatures. Touch your hand on the door; if you can feel excessive cold or heat, your door isn't insulated well.
While a pet door may be a convenient solution for Fido, they can be an energy bill nightmare — and they may even be keeping you cold all winter. While sliding glass pet door inserts are available, often times they are drafty, disable the lock mechanism and block access to the door.
Home Star offers a unique sliding door pet solution. The Home Star pet patio door is a sliding glass door with a built-in pet door. Since the pet door is built-in to the glass, drafts and air leaks aren't a problem. This pet door is also a functioning sliding door, which locks to keep you secure and warm.
The good news is, by identifying and fixing drafts in your home, you'll not only give yourself a much more comfortable winter, but you'll also save energy — which means saving money. And that always tends to make some spirits bright. Installing new, more energy efficient windows and doors is a simple way to solve your cold winter blues.
Along with saving you energy and money, new vinyl windows really improve the look of your home — inside and out. Window replacement companies, like Homestar, offer a variety of attractive, energy-efficient options for new windows, doors and even French and sliding glass doors. The company even offers pet-friendly doors that allow your pet to roam in and out without compromising your home's new draft-free status. Homestar offers free window and door inspections, free repair bids and free replacement bids.
By replacing your dated, drafty windows and doors, you'll not only save money in heating and cooling bills for years to come, but you may also qualify for a state rebate for installing energy-efficient systems within your home. Check here for more information on the Weatherization Program.
If you're ready to stop chilling out this winter, it's time to give drafts the boot. After all, baby, it's cold outside.