Keeping the Drafts Out

An old house with icicles and an open window.
  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-250
What You'll Need
Tape measure
Window plastic
Caulking gun
Area rugs
Door snakes

While older homes offer a great deal of charm and character, they can also be filled with cracks and crannies that cause uncomfortable drafts. If you want to be able to enjoy a cozy winter inside your home, you'll have to ensure that the heat stays inside with you. By draft-proofing your house, you'll be more comfortable and save a bundle on energy costs.

1. Locate Your Drafts

You can find the drafty areas in your home through the use of a lit candle. Light your candle and hold it near your doors and windows. If you see the flame or smoke move, you know you have a draft that needs to be sealed. Be careful holding the candle and keep the flame away from any flammable material near the windows and doors.

2. Seal Your Window and Door Frames

Apply weatherstripping to your drafty window and door frames. Use a tape measure to determine the perimeter around your windows. Purchase enough weatherstripping to seal the area. Clean the surfaces and allow them to dry thoroughly. Use your scissors to cut the length of weatherstripping you need. Apply the weatherstripping by pulling off the adhesive backing and pressing the tape into place.

3. Cover Your Windows with Plastic

Use your tape measure to determine the area of window space to cover with plastic, and then add an inch to the dimensions to ensure that you have enough film. Cut the plastic to the dimensions you need. Apply the double- sided tape to the casing around the window. Remove the paper from the top of the tape. Carefully press the plastic onto the casing at the top of the window, ensuring that it is properly secured. Pull the plastic down to the bottom casing and press it onto the tape there. Pull the plastic out to the casing sides and press it onto the tape. Turn your hairdryer to a low setting and blow the warm air over the plastic to shrink it into place. Use your scissors to remove any excess plastic from around the window.

4. Fill Cracks and Crevices

Use your caulking to fill cracks and crevices. Position your filler into your caulking gun. Squeeze the caulking in an even amount between each window or door frame and the wall. Hold the gun at a 45 degree angle and apply a continuous line of the material, completely filling all of the cracks. If necessary, caulk around electrical outlets, light switches and baseboards.

5. Close Your Curtains

Keep your curtains and blinds closed to keep the warm air inside your home. Open the coverings during the day to allow the sunshine to heat up the air in your rooms. Close the coverings at night to trap the air in your home and prevent it from escaping.

6. Lay Down Door Snakes and Area Rugs

Cover your floors with extra area rugs and runners. Lay door snakes in front of drafty doors. By laying down extra rugs and door snakes you can better insulate your floors and keep the warm air where it belongs.

7. Close Off Unused Rooms

Close the doors to the rooms that you do not use a great deal. By keeping these doors closed, you will reduce the drafts caused by the movement of any cool air from one room to the next.