Winterizing Drafty Doors

Winter has arrived in Chicago! And with it, many of its hassles: black ice, dry skin, frozen windshields, drafty doors… Even if you’re one of those people invigorated by the crisp air, you don’t want to feel that on your bare feet in your house. It is time to winterize your doors.

draft-snakeFortunately, drafty doors are an easy, affordable problem to solve. All you need is an under-door air blocker, or draft excluder. For those of you who doubt winter temperatures will last much longer, you might like a removable, below door draft blocker. Long and thin – shaped like a snake – it lays snugly along the base of the door line. Your grandmother might have one shaped like an actual snake, or a Dachshund maybe. While crafty, they are displaced every time you open the door, and need to be re-positioned with every coming and going. No thank you. Next, please.


A twin draft guard is a more stable, yet effective option. With two blockers shaped like bolsters laying against both sides of the door, they keep warm air in, and cold air out. The way the bolsters are attached to each other means they slide along with the door. No re-positioning  This type of draft blocker works best on internal doors over wood or tile floors. It should also work if you have a low pile rug or carpet. They average in price from $6 to $10.

door-sweepFinally, if you are looking for a more permanent solution, try to have a door sweep installed. Why not?! Affixed to aluminum or vinyl, a row of densely-packed bristles, or a long strip of vinyl, extends the length of the door, and is screwed in, or nailed into the base of the door itself. Good bye drafts! These are a better choice for external doors, keeping the winter chill out, as well as summer dust and bugs. They range in price from $7 to $12.

Of course, chilly drafts leak through more than just doors. Gaps in windows, pet doors, or attic hatches can be problematic, too. If you’re serious about sealing out the cold, think about foam weather strip seal. This foam-backed tape is applied to the gap all the way around a door. And, with an average price of less than $10 a roll, why not?

Stop nudging the thermostat higher, and mind your gaps! Stay comfortable, and keep your heating bills low with these cheap and easy maintenance tips.

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