We know weatherizing your home is important, and that sealing gaps around windows and doors can save both energy and money. Unfortunately, the options at the hardware store can be a little overwhelming. I wasn't quite sure what to buy a few years back, so I grabbed some clear packing tape I had laying around to seal my windows. Not a pretty sight come spring. This Old House lists the most common weatherstripping options, and where they go:
1. V Strip (Tension Seal): v-shaped plastic or metal strip that springs open to bridge gaps. Self-adhesive that can be applied along the sides of a double-hung or sliding window, and on the top and sides of a door.
2. Felt: plain or reinforced with a pliable metal strip. Must be stapled or nailed around a door or window sash, or in the door's jamb so that it compresses against the door.
3. Foam Tape: made from open or closed-cell foam, or EPDM rubber. Because it comes in a variety of widths and thickness, it's good for irregular sized cracks in the top and bottom of window sashes, and inside door frames.
4. Door Sweeps: made from flat pieces of plastic, aluminum, or stainless steel, and fitted with a strip of material to fill the space between the door and threshold. Place on the botton of the interior side of the door.
5. Tubular Rubber, Vinyl, or Silicone: sponge rubber or vinyl tubing come attached to a wood or metal mounting strip. Silicone versions are usually inserted into milled grooves. Effective air barrier when placed at the base of doors and windows, top or bottom of a window sash, bottom of a door, between a door and its jamb.
Weatherstripping should be applied around movable joints, such as windows or doors, and when installed properly, it provides an air-tight seal. According to the US Department of Energy, you can determine how much weatherstripping you will need by adding the perimeters of all windows and doors to be weatherstripped, plus 5%-10% to accommodate any waste.
(Image: Flickr member Muffet licensed for use under Creative Commons)