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How to Prevent Cold Drafts in Your Home


Feb 19, 2019

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Your home is supposed to be your safe haven from the outdoors. The last thing you want to experience when the temperature drops outside is a draft of cold air creeping into your home, disturbing your warm and cozy oasis.

Read more: How to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Cold air drafts not only cause discomfort for you and your family but can also lead to higher utility bills throughout the winter months, so you’ll want to fix this issue fast.

There are a number of reasons why your home may be suffering from drafts. Let’s explore some of the ways you can remedy a drafty home:

6 Ways to Stop Cold Drafts This Winter

1. Seal Windows and Doors

Poorly sealed windows and doors are two of the biggest sources of drafts throughout the winter. Not only do drafty windows and doors negatively affect home comfort, but they also allow heated indoor air to escape your home easily, leading to a spike in energy costs to offset the lost heat.

Read more: 5 Ways to Save Money on Heating This Winter

Although replacing old windows and doors will be most effective in the long term, it’s not always an affordable solution. Luckily, there are a few DIY sealing options homeowners can take advantage of to prevent cold air from leaking through windows and doors, including replacing weather stripping, using draft stoppers, and sealing windows with temporary insulation film.

2. Install Heavy Curtains or Drapes

Another way to “insulate” your windows is by installing energy-efficient curtains and drapes. Curtains made from heavy fabrics, like velvet, or that have an additional thermal lining act as a barrier between your warm home and cold outdoor air that enters your home through old, poorly-sealed windows.

Heavy curtains or drapes can be even more effective when paired with blinds or shades that provide an additional layer of draft protection. If you live in a windy area or experience particularly chilly drafts at night, thermal curtains could be the quick and easy solution you’re looking for.

3. Insulate the Attic

If you’re having difficulty keeping your house warm throughout the winter and can’t seem to identify the problem, it’s possible your attic is to blame.

Attic insulation prevents heated or cooled indoor air from escaping through any structural cracks or gaps, which helps keep utility bills down year-round. However, outdoor air can enter your home and impact your furnace’s ability to adequately heat your home when attic insulation deteriorates. Humidity, leaky roofs, and pests are all factors that can weaken attic insulation over time.

Checking for drafty windows and doors is easy — just put your hand by the seam between the window or door and its frame and feel for a breeze. Drafts coming through your attic, however, can be more difficult to diagnose. If you experience cold drafts even when windows and doors are closed, call one of our home performance experts to assess the condition of your attic insulation. 

Read more: How Long Does Attic Insulation Last?

4. Utilize Area Rugs

Old, wooden floorboards constrict in the winter, which creates gaps and cracks that allow cold air to enter your home through the floor. While redoing your floors can be costly and time-consuming, you can help prevent drafts by throwing down an area rug. 

Rugs insulate the floor by keeping cold air trapped beneath the floor’s surface and preventing heated air from escaping through the cracks. Plus, your feet will stay warmer without the need to crank your furnace which helps save money on utilities.

5. Check Vent Covers

Prevent drafts by checking the flap that covers your dryer vent. This vent flap helps seal the opening between the dryer duct and exterior of your home, keeping cold air from leaking into your home.

First, inspect the vent flap to ensure there isn’t any lint buildup that could be holding the flap open, allowing outdoor air to enter the dryer vent. Then check the vent cover for cracks or gaps in the caulking that seals the cover to your home’s exterior. If you notice any significant damage, you may want to consider re-caulking the vent cover to create a proper seal.

You can also install a dryer vent draft blocker, which utilizes a float that rises when warm air blows through the vent and lowers when the dryer is not in use, preventing outdoor air from entering your dryer vent.

6. Install a Chimney Balloon

One way to save money on heating during the winter is to use the fireplace instead of the furnace. However, your fireplace could also be allowing cold air to enter your home through your chimney.

In order to prevent heat loss, homeowners can use inflatable chimney balloons when the fireplace is not in use to block drafts and retain heated air. If you forget to remove the balloon before lighting a fire, don’t panic — chimney balloons are designed to deflate when they come in contact with heat, although you will likely have to replace that balloon as the fire may cause the balloon to warp.

CroppMetcalfe Helps Keep Cold Air Out

Stay warm this winter with the help of CroppMetcalfe’s 5-Star Technicians. Our home performance experts can determine the source of uncomfortable cold drafts and find a solution that works for you and your family. Call 703-698-8855 or contact us online to schedule a whole house comfort check today. 


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