Checking Duct

5 DIY Fixes for Drafty Homes

April 30, 2017

Living in Florida has tons of benefits. We enjoy beach weather while the rest of the country is freezing, we get to see palm trees every day, and you’re never more than a few hours from the coast. But Wildwood, Florida, residents often pay tons on cooling costs every summer, because we Floridians have to combat both high heat and high humidity. Unfortunately, a drafty home contributes to those high cooling costs because you lose a lot of your cooled air. Want to stop running your AC so much in summer? Fix your drafty house.

Block Drafty Windows

To fix drafts in old windows, choose one of several options. Weatherstripping sticks in the gaps and plugs them. Caulk does the same thing, but it comes out of a tube and goes on wet. You can also cover your windows in plastic sheeting, though this is by far the least attractive of the three options.

Weatherstripping is best for windows that don’t sit in their frames very nicely. If you can see gaps between the windows and the frames, put weatherstripping there for a tighter fit. Caulk is best when you have gaps either where the frame meets the house, or where the panes of glass meet the wood holding them in place. Plastic sheeting is a quick job you can do with nails or staples. If you’re looking to replace your windows anyway, throw up some sheeting, and splurge on double-pane windows.

Search for Duct Issues

What if your home has good insulation and few drafty spots, and your AC is in good repair, yet you still barely feel the cooling when it kicks on? Your ducts might be the problem. Even tiny holes in ductwork cause energy loss, and ductwork that’s old and has lots of gaps where air can escape is extremely inefficient.

Explore the exposed ductwork in your attic or crawl space. Look for any visible holes in the ducts, and check the joints with special care. If you see what look like streaks of dirt on the walls, that usually indicates a hole, even if you can’t see it. Your inspection concludes your DIY task, because repairing ducts is something you shouldn’t do yourself. The rest is up to us. Call us, show us what you’ve found, and we’ll take a closer look.

Insulate Window AC Units

When we say window AC units, we mean both AC units that sit in windows, and the small window-rattlers that sometimes protrude from a hole in the side of a house. Ironically, many of these AC units aren’t installed very well, leaving big gaps around them for the cold air to escape outside. Seal up your window AC unit with weatherstripping. You can use caulk if you want to, but it’ll be harder to remove the AC unit later.

Change Your Door Sweeps

Those little plastic strips attached to the bottom of your doors do more than keep dust and dirt out. They also plug up the small gap that a door leaves when it fits into its frame. Your door sweeps might be ineffective if they’re old or worn out. You can get new ones at your local hardware store.

Get a wood sweep so you can stain or paint it to match your door. They’re easy to install, you just need some nails or screws and a level to get it in place correctly.

Get Blackout Curtains

Not everyone is excited about DIY tasks, which is why this last one is so simple. Blackout curtains will keep the Florida sun from heating up your rooms. Keep your rooms from becoming a sauna in the summer, and your AC won’t have to work as hard to cool them down, since they’ll stay relatively cool.

You’ve done your part to fix your drafty home, now it’s time for us to do ours. Get a Sun Kool technician over to check your ducts and your AC. If you’re still using window units, we’ve got all the info you need to consider an upgrade. Call us today at 205-209-4246 .

Image provided by Shutterstock

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