Updated: June 8, 2015

Weatherstripping Doors and Windows:

When winter comes along many of us homeowners are looking at much higher heating bills and drafty houses that never seem to retain warmth properly. Our house is 15 years old and definitely shows its age in some spots. The downstairs floor vents are always blowing out cold air when the furnace first turns on and this can be annoying, especially when you are sittign near a vent. I had an employee come out from our local energy company and he did an "energy audit" on the house. A home energy assessment is actually free (at least from our company) and helps guide your decisions on creating a more energy efficient residence. The experts can see where your home is wasting energy and they can let you know if your heating or cooling systems are working efficiently. You may see them using infrared cameras or blower doors, all which help them determine where your house needs better insulation or weatherstripping materials. Detecting air leaks is the most important thing to do. Doors, windows, and garage doors are notorious for letting in cold air or allowing warm air to escape.
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Choosing the right kind of weatherstripping - There are several factors that will determine which type of weatherstripping you end up buying. Words like friction, temperature changes, weather, and wear and tear all need addressing. You want weatherstripping that does its job while not hindering a door from opening and closing or stopping a window from going up or down smoothly. The weatherstripping needs to work hand in hand with the object it's sealing up. Felt and open-cell foams are cheap, but not always the most efficient. The self-stick vinyl weatherstripping materials are great at resisting moisture and they will last. When I had my front door replaced a few years ago due to water damage, the guys put in the vinyl strips along the sides of the door and along the top. It's practically invisible to the eye unless you are looking for it. Some of the most expensive materials are metal or magnetic types. Door sweeps are perfect for metal (aluminum or steel) weatherstripping products that are durable and can handle dragging on carpets or floors. Other materials needed may be a caulking gun, a tube of caulk, attic chair cover, fireplace draft stopper, and rubber gaskets. To do an entire home, experts say it will take about 4 to 5 hours of your time and up to $100 to $200 in supplies. Can you do it yourself? Yes, many DIY homeowners take on weatherstripping as an easy to moderate job at home. Some things like interlocking window channels can be a bit harder to deal so go with a pro if need be. We have provided a good video on installing weatherstripping around windows below.

How Much Does Weatherstripping Cost?:

The best part about weatherstripping your home is that the materials involved are not that expensive versus the cost reductions you could see in your heating and cooling bills. Many items are under $10 and we have given you a quick list down below as examples. Many you can pick up at Home Depot or Lowes home improvement stores and I've seen most of these supplies carried in Walmart and Target stores. We suggest shopping online at Amazon.com since all the supplies have reviews and you can quickly read up on pros and cons to each. Plus you can shop from the privacy of your own home.

*M-D Building Products 1610 Steel Door Magnetic Weatherstrip - under $30
*Frost King B2 Mortite Caulking Cord 19-ounce 90-Foot Long - under $10
*M-D Building Products 3525 V-Flex Weatherstrip - under $10
*Dow Chemical Co. 298141 Great Stuff Pro Gaps & Cracks Professional Applicator Foam - under $10
*M-D Building Products 2618 All Climate EPDM Rubber Weatherseal for Gaps - under $10

Browse the best selling weatherstripping supplies here.


DIY Weatherstripping vs Hiring a Professional:

Most carpenters or handymen will charge you between $30 and $100 an hour to do work like installing weatherstripping. If you can get a guy out for $30/hr it might be worth it. Otherwise take on these somewhat easy home improvement tasks yourself. I am not the typical DIY homeowner, but I felt comfortable doing some of the weatherstripping around my house. I really found the Youtube videos to be very informative and educational. Watching a few of those and I immediately accomplished things like windows, door jams, and dealing with fireplace drafts. If you have a few hours on a weekend, buy the necessary supplies and give it a try.