costs are expected to be sky-high this winter
as oil prices continue to soar. Are you
ready to fight back? One thing everyone can do is weather-strip windows
First, look for drafts and determine to what extent weather-stripping is necessary. In an old house like mine, it's pretty-much a given. In newer houses or homes that have been weather-stripped in previous years, check anyway. That's because cracks can appear anywhere at any time.
Not sure if you're feeling any airflow? Try holding a lit candle or match up to the spot in question. If the flame quivers, you'll know you have work to do! One determined couple recommends the following two-pronged method
: one person holds the candle up while another stands on the outside blowing air from a hair dryer in the direction of the candlelight. Not a bad suggestion, huh?
The second step is to decide how to stop those troublesome gaps. Smaller cracks can be caulked
up. Other problem areas may need weather-stripping applied. Retailer Lowes has a bunch of great tips on its website
. Basic pointers and pics can also be found at DIY Network
. A wonderful summary of weather-stripping options can be found here
, as well.
Finally, don't forget your doors. Drafts coming in under exterior doors can be minimized by installing draft sweeps
. These are lightweight aluminum
strips that attach with screws
to the bottom of the door, usually on the indoors side, effectively blocking the flow of cold air inwards. Use a hacksaw to cut the sweep to the correct size for your door. Remember to leave a little breathing room at each end so that the sweep does not catch on your door frame.