Maintaining a tight air seal around your windows and doors is important to maximize the efficiency of your home's HVAC system. Both your heating and cooling systems will function more effectively if you prevent air from seeping out through small openings around your doors and windows.
Weather stripping is an important thing you should be doing on an annual basis to reduce your energy bills. It's a great idea to take care of this task in the fall before the cold weather arrives. The following are five helpful tips on getting the job done right:
Test doors and windows to find problem spots
If you inspect and maintain your weather stripping every year, you might not need to replace it or install it on all your windows and doors. Before you begin weather stripping, you should test for air leaks.
You might be able to tell that a certain door or window needs weather stripping because you feel drafts in the interior of the house. You can also detect weatherstripping needs by testing for airtightness with a hair dryer.
Have one person go outside of a closed window or door with a hair dryer and stand on the inside. Have the person outside blow the hair dryer around the perimeter of the window. If you notice a current of air coming in around the window or door when the hair dryer passes over, that door or window needs weather stripping.
Remove old weatherstripping
Over time, weather stripping can become worn out and develop gaps or holes. You'll need to completely remove old weather stripping before putting new weather stripping down, so this should be your first step once you've found a door or window with a leak.
Clean and dry surfaces before applying weatherstripping
Weather stripping will be affixed to your door or window frame with an adhesive. The frame beneath must be clean for the adhesive to function properly. A solution of water and white vinegar is an effective cleaning solution for cleaning frames and removing residue left over from old weather stripping adhesive.
Use pressure-sensitive adhesive-backed foam stripping
This type of weather stripping is ideal because it is both affordable and easy to apply. The foam in this type of weather stripping is highly effective at sealing out the air and even offers a cushioning effect that reduces the noise produced when a door or window is slammed shut.
Get out your measuring tape
Weather stripping will function best when it is applied as one solid piece that extends from the top to the bottom of the door or window frame. You should therefore carefully measure and cut it to size before you begin applying it.
For any other concerns relating to your HVAC system, contact an HVAC contractor, like one from D & W Heating & Air Conditioning Inc.