A man installs weatherstripping under his front door.

Draftproofing

  • Upgrading insulation is likely to be a cost-effective, energy-efficient measure. Start in areas that lose the most heat, such as attics, basements and crawlspaces.
  • In an existing house, the attic is generally the most cost-effective place to add insulation. A well-insulated attic can reduce year-round energy use by 20-60%, saving you money.
  • If you are considering a new heating system, but haven't upgraded your insulation, it’s best to do the insulation first as you might be able to buy a smaller heating system after.
  • If you are building a house, good insulation installed properly is a cost-effective way to reduce your heating and cooling needs.

** Source: BC Hydro

  • In many homes, up to 20% of all heat loss is through drafts and leaks. If you can eliminate the gaps and cracks that let cold air into your home, you’ll not only save energy, but you’ll also make your home more comfortable. TIP Look for spider webs: spiders like to build their webs where there's a draft.

Getting Started

  • Inspect your home carefully by running your hand along windowsills, doors and exterior walls to feel for cold drafts. If you find them, you’ll most likely need weatherstripping to block leaks around your doors and windows, and caulking to stop leaks in or around your window frames, along baseboards, and around pipes or vents.
  • Adjust and square windows that are out of alignment.
  • Remove old weatherstripping, caulking and blobs of paint. If the surface is very uneven, apply a bead of caulking under the weatherstripping or fill and sand the surface to make it smooth.
  • Clean the surface with a clean cloth and fast-drying mineral spirits or MEK (methyl ethyl ketone)
  • Apply the weatherstripping. With doors and windows that are used often, you may want to reinforce the adhesive types with staples.
  • Check the window for smooth operation.
  • Periodically check the weatherstripping for wear.
  • Staff at your local home improvement or hardware store can help you choose the right product for your problem areas, and may be able to recommend someone to do the work for you if you need help.
  • Windows can account for up to 25% of total house heat loss, so leaving them uncovered is like throwing money away.
  • At night and when you’re not at home during the day (or on really cold days even when you are), close all your window coverings to keep the heat in and the cold out.  During the day, when the sun is shining, open window coverings to let the heat in.
  • In the summer, keep window coverings closed to keep the heat out. 
  • Caulk your windows and doors to prevent air leaks. Replacing old windows with energy-efficient ones is a significant step toward conservation.