How To Get Rid of Cold Winter Drafts
RuralMom.com | Jan 7, 2019
Doors and windows are two of the biggest energy wasting areas of the house. In the summer, they may allow cool air to escape, and in the winter, they allow heat to do the same. They also allow cold winter drafts to permeate the interior of the house, making rooms cold and uncomfortable.
Normally, you can tell if your door is the source of a cold draft by simply running your hand around the perimeter of the frame, and along the bottom. Older doors that emit winter drafts may have shifted over time. This causes gaps along the openings and insulation loss. Sometimes, doors are simply not installed tightly in the first place. There are plenty of companies out there that also offers replacement doors. Kelly Window & Door is a replacement window and door installation company that can help in these circumstances to make sure the heat stays out but can also look at the windows to see if there are small cracks or gaps letting air and heat out.
If it is not possible to replace the door with one that is more energy efficient, that fits tightly into the frame, there are other ways to eliminate some of the problem.
Felt or rubber weather stripping is available everywhere, from home improvement stores to discount chains. This insulating material, that has one sticky side and one softer, pliable side, is available in various lengths and widths to fit any frame. It is also easy to cut to length.
Attach stripping to the frame, so that when the door closes, the gaps that allowed the cold air in seal. The thickness of this insulation depends chiefly on the amount of space you have to work with. Using an insulation that is too thin will not produce the desired results. Insulation that is too thick will not allow the door to close properly.
A gap beneath the door is usally the cause of the cold air that travels across the floor of a room. Correct this by adding a door sweep.
You can purchase door sweeps any width door. They are also custom made to fit. Attach by screwing the sweep onto the bottom of the door. Or, in some instances, fitting the sweep over the bottom by pushing it in place starting at one edge of the door. Sweeps can be either metal with a rubber edge, foam, or rubber.
If there is still a noticeable draft beneath the door, or for a quick fix, add draft guards. You can also make your own as they are made from material. Sew material into a tube shape. Stuff with fiberfill or some other material. Then, lay draft guard against the bottom edge of the door keeping the cold air to a minimum.
Once you have insulated around your doors, you should see an improvement, not only in the temperature of the room, but eventually in the cost of heating and cooling your home.
30 Ways to Stay Warm Without Power
Use Low-tech Equipment
- Set up a tent in a room that connects with a bathroom and spend time/sleep inside the tent. No tent? Drape blankets over a table for a similar effect.
- Make a Buddy Burner for light and a small amount of heat. Be sure to vent the room to allow fumes to escape to the outside and not accumulate inside your home.
- Keep hand and feet warmers inside pockets, gloves, and/or shoes. Read this post for some high-tech ideas to help hands and feet stay warm.
- Use an indoor-safe portable stove for cooking small meals. Hot food helps boost morale.
- If you have a fireplace, maintain a good-sized fire throughout the day and night. If you can’t use your fireplace, be sure the damper is closed tightly to block cold air from entering your home. Also, invest in a carbon monoxide detector with battery backup.
- Make an alcohol stove from an Altoids tin to keep hands warm.
- Wrap yourself in one or more blankets. To help you stay warm while moving about, wrap fleece blankets around your waist or under your arms and pin them. Blanket scarves are also good options for this technique. Just don’t overload to the point you excessively sweat because that actually pulls heat AWAY from the body.
- If you have a gas range, boil/heat water and then pour it into a hot water bottle. (Learn how to start your gas range’s pilot light.)
- Make an Apple Box Stove to cook food and as an off-grid method for staying warm without electricity.
- Spend the day inside the warmest sleeping bag you own.
- Put bricks or large rocks in your fireplace, heat them, remove safely using tongs, and then wrap them in blankets to warm beds and bodies.
Wear Appropriate Clothing
- Wear fleece-lined pants and/or fleece-lined tights. It’s amazing how this one strategy will help you stay warm without electricity. These are the pants I own and love.
- Wear wool socks and a wool cap throughout the day and night.
- Wear layers of clothes, including long underwear. Learn more about my own clothing layers during our camping trip in Iceland.
- Wear socks and shoes in the house, and never stand or rest your feet on a bare floor (tile, concrete, etc.) Either wear socks or place your feet on a rug or blanket. This minimizes conductive cooling. If you have bare floors and not enough rugs, put blankets or even towels on the floor in areas where you’ll be walking and spending time.
- Shop now for cold-weather clothing in second-hand clothing stores as well as from outdoors/sporting goods stores and, of course, online.
Keep your house warm without power
- Cover uninsulated vinyl or hardwood floors with throw rugs or blankets. The estimated heat loss through floors is about 10%.
- Hang heavy blankets over windows and exterior doors, especially glass sliding doors.
- Spend most of the day and night inside the warmest room, closed off to the rest of the house. Learn how to live in just one room here.
- Cover windows with bubble wrap as an insulator.
- Block drafts under doors by cutting the legs off of a pair of tights and stuffing socks into it. Lay at the base of any door you feel cold air coming through. Or plan ahead and order them.
- Avoid pipe freezes by wrapping vulnerable pipes with a heating cable.
- Heat rises. If possible, spend most of your time upstairs as long as it’s also well-insulated.
- Invest in an indoor safe radiant propane heater like Mr. Heater Big Buddy Portable Heater, which has an Oxygen Depletion Sensor and accidental tip-over safety shut-off. Add propane and a carbon monoxide detector.
- Sit in your car with the heater on. NOTE: This is a short-term solution and should only be done with your car parked in a well-ventilated garage or in an otherwise open area. This also allows you time to charge your phones and electronics.
- In a dire emergency, check with your town/city to see if any public warming sites are available.
Other Ways to Stay Warm Without Power
- Cuddle up with your cats and/or dogs.
- Keep babies and toddlers warm with your body heat by carrying them in a sling or other baby carrier.
- Do a moderate workout to a YouTube video or make up your own routine to increase body heat but not to the point of sweating a lot, which is counterproductive.
- Prepare a hot beverage or a cup of soup stew using your off-grid cooking method. It will warm you from within.