DIY Network

Making Your Home Airtight

This DIY Basic will provide tips on making your home airtight.

More in Home Improvement

Sealing edge

Watch an Overview Video

Gather Your Materials and Tools

Materials and Tools:

spring-metal weather stripping
foam weather stripping
measuring tape
door sweep
power drill
tin snips
nail set
incense stick
programmable thermostat

Check Doors and Windows for Drafts

Sealing gaps around doors and windows can lower utility bills and make your home more comfortable.

Start by checking doors and windows for drafts.

At night, turn on inside lights and turn off outside lights; if you can see light around door from outside, door has gap.

Close dollar bill in door; if you can pull it out, seal is loose.

Have helper hold hands around door and windows inside as you move hair dryer around perimeter outside; if helper feels warm air, seal is loose.

Move burning incense stick around inside of closed door; if smoke swirls, door is not sealed.

Seal Windows With Metal Weather Stripping

For windows, cut metal strips 2 inches longer than sashes, and position vertical strips so flared flange faces outside.

Tip: Center strip should be mounted to frame with flare aimed down; horizontal strips are mounted to top of upper sash and bottom of lower sash with flared flange facing out.

Using tin snips, cut metal strips to fit.

Attach strips to frame and trim away metal around hinges and locks. Trim ends at angle where vertical and horizontal strips meet.

Insert one nail at top and one at bottom. Make sure strips are straight and aligned, then drive nails partially into center, then between center and ends. To avoid damaging metal, use nail set to drive nails fully in place.

Flare out edge of strip with screwdriver to create snug fit.

Seal Doors With Foam Weather Stripping

Apply foam weather stripping to doors when temperature is above 20 degrees F.

Clean door jam with dishwashing liquid and water and let dry thoroughly.

Measure sides and cut strips to fit in one continuous piece along each side.

Remove paper backing at one end, press end into place, and slowly peel away backing as you push foam into place. Make sure stripping meets tightly in corners.

For even more energy savings, install programmable thermostat.