The cold of winter has a way of pointing out just how drafty our homes are. We need drafty house solutions that don’t break the budget. Seal up drafty windows, tighten up your leaky house, and get comfortable this winter with these 17 easy and affordable low-tech drafty house tips.
When it’s frigid outside, you want your home to be warm and cozy. Small (and large) drafts in your home can create a miserably cold home and skyrocket your heating costs.
However, winterizing your home can be a real challenge if you live in an old, drafty house or apartment. If you’re like us, locked into a location until you pay off more of your mortgage, moving isn’t an option. And fixing the problem can also get very expensive quickly.
Luckily, we’ve found some low-tech and low-cost ways that work wonders to make your home feel cozier (and possibly lower your energy bill) during the cold winter months!
“Nothing burns like the cold.”
How to Fix Your Drafty House and Make Your House Feel Cozier
If you are living in a drafty house, the good news is that there are lots of low-tech and low-cost options to help seal up those gaps, and I’ve got 17 of them here for you.
If you are looking to fix your closet door, then check out these awesome closet door ideas.
From drafty windows to drafty doors and everything in between, taking care of these problem areas will take the chill out of your living space.
1. Use Bubble Wrap To Insulate Drafty Windows
First, apply bubble wrap to the inside of old windows to help insulate them. This low-cost (or no cost if you already have it) solution reduces heat loss and only takes a few minutes to do. The bubbles trap air for insulation, while still allowing light to come through.
The bigger the bubbles in the bubble wrap, the better as it will trap more air and insulate more effectively. This is an easy, inexpensive way to reduce heat loss through old windows when replacing the windows isn’t in your budget.
2. DIY a Drafty Door Stopper
Drafty doors and windows often go unnoticed in the warmer months, but when cold weather hits, doors and windows that let in cold air require attention. You’ll be surprised at how much cold air comes through even tiny cracks under the doors! Make your own draft stoppers to put at the bottoms of your doors. You can put draft stoppers at the bottoms of your windows, too, to stop cold drafts from making their way into your house.
But, if sewing isn’t your thing, you can buy draft dodgers like these at reasonable prices in most mass retail stores beginning in the fall.
3. No-Sew Door Guard for Cold Houses
If you enjoy saving money by DIYing your door guard but don’t want to sew, try this no-sew option. Use a pool noodle to make a few draft stoppers for leaky doors. Simply slice the noodle in half length-wise and slide under the door.
It’s cheap, easy to do, and works like a charm. They’ll last for several years and you can color coordinate for extra fun. Besides, it’s not like you’ll be using them in the pool this winter, anyway.
4. Wool Blankets For Your Drafty Windows
Wool blankets aren’t just for your bed. Wool blankets hung over the windows can make a world of difference in the temperature of your house by adding an extra layer of insulation. You can also make them look pretty if you style them like Roman window shades.
5. Seal Up Your Windows With Thin Plastic Film
According to This Old House, thin plastic film (like this one) can help a room retain up to 55 percent of its heat. Luckily, it’s inexpensive and easy to apply using some double-sided tape and your trusty hairdryer. Best of all, it’s a temporary solution you can remove in the spring when you’re ready to open those windows again.
6. Apply Resealable Magnetic Insulation
If you’re frugal with both your time and your money, you’ll love this idea!
If you want to use plastic sheets as added insulation over your drafty windows, here’s a simple way to get multiple years’ use from them.
Attach magnetic tape to the plastic sheets and paint your window trim with magnetic paint. You’ll then be able to reuse your plastic window sheets every year, making it much more cost-effective.
7. Hang Winter Window Treatments For Insulation
Swap out lightweight curtains each season for heavier, insulating curtains. Examples can include Roman shades, honeycomb shades, layered curtains, or heavy drapes.
It’s a low-tech, cost-effective solution that makes a big impact both on your comfort and your wallet over time. And it has an added benefit of being a quick and easy way to change the look of your room.
8. Find Heat-Stealing Air Leaks
Sometimes, air leaks are difficult to detect, especially around outlets and light switches. Light an incense stick and pass it near window panes, door frames, outlets, and light switches. Wherever the smoke wavers, there’s a draft.
Those are the areas you need to fix. For outlets and light switches, it’s as easy as putting some socket sealers behind them to stop the leaks. To seal up the windows and door frames, use one of the other tips listed here.
9. Don’t Seal Up Drafty Windows
Sometimes replacing old, drafty windows just isn’t in the budget. If you don’t have the money to replace basement windows right now, try this.
Buy insulation and Styrofoam boards from your local hardware store and cut it to the size of your window. Place the insulation over the inside of the window, followed by the styrofoam boards. The styrofoam boards will hold your insulation in place while keeping a lot of the cold air out.
10. Add Insulation to the Attic and Basement
Insulation in your best friend in the winter (and in the summer too). Insulation can wear down over time – especially in the attic.
By simply adding new insulation to your attic or your basement (at the end joints), you can retain more heat and keep your home feeling cozy.
11. Replace Weather Stripping Around Drafty Doors and Windows
As the home ages, materials, especially wood, shift and shrink creating gaps that let in cold air. Here’s an easy-to-implement tip: replace your weatherstripping every few years.
It’s cheap and easy to do and can save you up to 10-15% on your energy bills while making your home feel warmer at the same time.
12. Layer Throw Rugs For An Insulation Boost
Frigid floors can be a real problem during the winter months. If you have tile, ceramic, or laminate floors, consider putting down an area rug to add some room-warming insulation.
Layering rugs are an even better idea for keeping toes toasty. Plus, if you use coordinating colors and patterns, it can look really chic.
13. Add a DIY Fireplace Insert
Drafty windows aren’t your only major cold air trouble spots. Don’t forget to close off unused fireplaces.
While you can pay for fireplace screens to keep the cold out, you can easily make your own fireplace screen to stop those pesky drafts and look chic too.
14. Easy Drafty House solution: Add Rigid Foam Insulation To Your Fireplace
If you prefer the aesthetics of your fireplace as is, cut a piece of foam board to insert at the top of the fireplace instead.
You’ll never see it, but it will work wonders to keep those cold drafts out and the warm air in. Just remember to remove it before lighting any fires!
15. Beat Drafty Windows With Room Air Conditioning Unit Covers
A room air conditioning unit does a great job of keeping a room cool in the summer. The problem is that it’s very drafty and also does a great job of keeping it cold in the winter.
The best way to stop these drafts is to remove the unit during the winter. If that’s not an option, install a window air conditioner cover to keep the cold out.
16. Replace the Caulk on Drafty Windows
The caulk that frames your windows wears down over time. It’s easy enough to apply new rope caulk around your window frame. First, just be sure to clean the surfaces first so the caulk stays on. Then, apply. You’ll also want to do this in the fall before it gets too cold, as the caulk may not adhere at very cold temperatures.
17. Lock Those Drafty Windows
Perhaps the easiest tip of them all, but one that is easy to overlook is simply to make sure your windows are locked. Locking your windows pulls the sashes tight together, sealing out the frosty air that might have otherwise slipped through.
What did you think of these tips for fixing drafty windows and doors?
Cold rooms and high energy bills are something we all want to avoid, to fix that the first thing you’ll want to do is to try sealing off drafty windows, doors, and other problem areas with these easy, low-tech methods. You’ll make a significant impact on how warm and cozy your home feels, even on the coldest of winter days. And you’ll save on your heating bills, too.
Love These Money-Saving Ideas for Fixing Drafty Windows? Check Out These Other Winter Tips
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