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Home heating 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 and doors.

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.


  • CeCe

    I would like to know if you could find some information on how best to seal up opening to crawl spaces along the foundation of a home. I feel the cold air in certain areas of the house that are near crawl space opening and would like to be able to close them off with the best weather proofing material I can find.

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