Almost 70 percent of the utility bill comprises heating and cooling expenses. When you don’t have proper door insulation, cracks and spaces around your doors allow for the heating or cooling to flow through them, and air from the outside enters your home. These create drafty areas in your home, and the tendency is for you to keep on turning the thermostat up when you feel like you’re not getting enough warmth, or down when you’re not getting enough cool air. You might not be conscious of this, but don’t be too surprised when you receive a rather high utility bill at the end of the month. Fortunately, DIY weatherstripping is the simplest and most practical door insulation project that would solve your heating and cooling problems, and help cut rising energy costs too. Here’s how to tackle it.
- Determine which doors need to be insulated. Go through every part of your house to determine which areas need door insulation. If you can feel cool air coming through door cracks, then it’ll definitely need insulation.
- Measure the length of doors that need weatherstripping. Measure along doorway perimeters—from the threshold to the top of each door. Then get the width for the door sweep. When you’re done with this, add all the figures you’ve taken and add some allowances for extra door weatherstrip in case you put some door strips to waste.
- Choose the right kind of weatherstrip and door sweep. You would need weatherstrips that would go through the sides and the top of the door, plus a door sweep for the bottom of the door. Take note that there are many kinds of weatherstrips for different doors, spaces, and surfaces. Weatherstrips also have different characteristics. For example, metal weatherstrips are highly durable, more affordable, and can last for many years. Vinyl weatherstrips are best suited for flat, smooth surfaces, and are moisture-resistant. Reinforced door foams are rigid and more difficult to install, but act as effective sealers. But before heading off to the nearest hardware store, you have to research first on what type of weatherstrip would work best for your doors. Consider the door material, surrounding surfaces and door walls, floors, spaces, etc. If you have problems, you can make inquiries from hardware store employees or DIY experts. Whatever it is that you choose, make sure that it’s durable and can last for a long time.
- Apply pre-weatherstripping procedures. Before you get on with applying weatherstrips, make sure to follow general procedures like making sure the surface intended for application is clean and dry.
- Cut weatherstrips and door sweeps. You have to cut weatherstrip lengths using the measurements you’ve taken earlier. As for the door sweep, cut according to the width of the door.
- Read and follow weatherstripping instructions. Once you’ve bought your chosen weatherstrip, there are instructions on how to use it as indicated in the package. When applying self-adhesive weatherstrips, apply one continuous strip at a time. Apply to the two sides and then at the top of the door. When you use weatherstrip that needs stapling, staple it to the door jamb, where the door rests when it is closed. Press down on the weatherstrip to make sure it meets tightly and snugly at the corners. Attach the door sweep to the bottom of the door with a hand drill or screwdriver, and the screws provided in the pack. Make sure that the flexible part of the door sweep would seal against the threshold when you close the door. Adjust when necessary.
- Double-check your weatherstrip application. Make sure that there won’t be obstacles when you shut the door, and that the door itself won’t be too difficult to close upon application of weatherstrips. With the correct door insulation, you can reduce your energy cost and utility bills by as much as 30 percent.