This is the third in a series about “Weekend Warrior: Organizing and Taking Care of your Home and Car.” This guest post is by Todd Armstrong, owner of Armstrong Home Services, sharing ideas on adding comfort and saving money in your home.
“Its cold in here!”
“Honey, can you feel that draft?”
Imagine yourself, sitting comfortably in your favorite spot, getting ready to kick back for a couple of hours of mindless relaxation. Your significant other snuggles near, and springs the surprise of cold feet.
“Your feet are freezing!”
None of these statements are pleasant to hear, or experience. All of them are usually easy to remedy. Lets start by looking at your doors and windows to insure that they only let through what you want to get through. Insulation is the key.
Take a look at your front door. Now open it and look at the insides of the door frame, where the door meets the jamb. You should see some type of insulator. Whether rubber, foam, brass or copper, it has the specific purpose of keeping outside air out and inside air in. If not working properly these easily repairable/replaceable items can make the difference between a comfortable or a drafty home. They can also cause undue strain on your HVAC system and allow dirt, dust and unwanted critters access.
There are many ways to check the integrity of your door seal. Step outside when it’s dark, leaving several lights on inside your home, and check to see if any light comes through the area around your closed door. Another option is to close the door and run your hand along the door casing on a particularly cold or hot day and feel for temperature differences or moving air. You can even sprinkle a bit of baby powder near the jamb and then open a door or window somewhere else in the house. If the powder gets blown around or sucked out there is a problem.
Most gaskets or seals can be changed rather easily and at little cost. If you have a copper or brass seal, look at it closely. The seals are nailed on one side and are shaped like a “V”. The “V” gets closed up by use and time, compromising the seal. Stick a butter knife in the groove and open that bad boy up just a bit. Problem solved. If foam rubber is what is present, many kits are sold at your local hardware store to replace what you have. Look closely and try and get a similarly shaped foam as a replacement.
Windows can be a bit more challenging as the sealing area is also an area where 2 pieces slide together, hopefully forming a seal. Glass is inherently a poor insulator, particularly single pane glass. Most of the problems with air leaks in windows, in my experience, has been where the window latches. Over time, windows can become skewed or not close completely. A simple cleaning of the bottom window jamb often corrects this. Insulated curtains or other window coverings are your best bet for keeping out the unwanted breezes. Be they ever so slight, they all add up to better insulation.
Place your hand over your light switches and receptacles to see if you feel any temperature difference. It’s amazing how many of these little boxes are overlooked when insulating a home. Insulating foam kits made specifically for these are available to make sure the only thing moving through there is electricity. Take note of the shape of your switches and outlets as several styles are made.
A constant drain of air from your home is no different than a leaking balloon, you must use more energy to keep it properly heated, cooled or inflated.
If the feet are still cold, offer socks.
Todd Armstrong, is the owner of Armstrong Home Services, a home maintenance and repair company in operation since 1999. Specializing in kitchen and bathroom remodeling, Todd takes his clients style and family patterns into consideration creating a comfortable, friendly space in his remodeling projects.
Whether creating a dynamic space for a child with special needs, a more mobile atmosphere for the elderly, or upgrading an older home to create a modern wonder, every project becomes personal.
Todd’s work has been featured on HGTV’s Trading Spaces. Watch for the release of his book “Decorating for Dudes – Don’t Be Afraid of Color,” a guide for the single man who doesn’t want his home to look like a bachelor pad.
Todd’s goal is to make your project a fun and carefree adventure. He can be reached at (281)220-9056, or online at firstname.lastname@example.org.