If you’re paying big utility bills and your home is still not warm, it could be because your home is drafty. While you keep the doors and windows closed, you may have minute cracks around doors, windows, baseboards, and other areas that let in the cold air while the heated air escapes. It also may be that in summer, your air-conditioning efforts are compromised when cold air escapes through these cracks. Read on to learn how to deal with drafty windows, doors, and more.

How Drafts Get In

As your home ages, it expands and contracts, creating minute cracks around window and door frames; at baseboards; in electrical plugs in exterior walls; through holes for cables, wires, and pipes in exterior walls; and in other locations. These drafty windows, as well as drafts in other places, make it harder for your HVAC system to warm your house efficiently, as the heating struggles to reach temperature set points. This creates more wear and tear on your system, resulting in strain on parts and possible breakdown.

These cracks also let in moisture that may make your home seem warmer in the summer. You want to keep the humidity well below 50% in the summer, and actually, 30% is better. A drier atmosphere will make it easier to cool your home.

Closing Drafty Windows and Other Drafty Spots

To prevent drafts, you need to locate them. You can hold your hand next to the places listed above and see if you feel a draft, or you can hold a piece of lit incense next to these locations to see if the lit end glows or the smoke wavers. If so, you have a crack that’s letting in outside air.

Close up these cracks with caulk, weatherstripping, or insulation, depending on the size of the hole. Go over these sites yearly to be sure there are no new holes. You can also use insulating foam sealant, which can close up gaps of up to 1 inch.

For more on treating drafty windows and doors, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing, serving greater Indianapolis.