SOURCE: Angie's List

Angie's List

September 07, 2011 17:20 ET

Angie's List Says Don't Overlook Weatherstripping

Making Sure Your Home's Weatherstripping Performs Effectively Could Really Help Increase Your Home's Energy Efficiency

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Sep 7, 2011) - As cooler fall weather descends, homeowners should start preparing their homes for winter by checking the weatherstripping. Weatherstripping helps keep the freezing wind out, making your home more energy efficient and your utility bills lower. Weatherstripping around doors also prevents dirt and vermin from entering the home.

Over time, weatherstripping tends to become less effective, so you should check it annually and replace it when it loses flexibility. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that property owners first detect air leaks (many leaks are easy to detect because you can feel the air entering your home) then assess ventilation needs for indoor air quality. All homes require certain amounts of fresh air. If you are worried about sealing your house too tightly, call an insulation expert who will use diagnostic tools in order to identify leaks and advise you on ventilation.

When working with a professional, it's important to ask him or her to help you determine the type of weatherstripping you should use. A good product should be able to withstand friction, temperature changes and UV rays, and wear and tear. Also, some types of weatherstripping are visible while others remain hidden.

The most common weatherstripping materials are felt and open cell foam, flexible vinyl, and metal.

Felt and open cell foam weatherstripping is considered easy to apply but generally ineffective against weather extremes and inefficient at blocking air flow.

Flexible vinyl is slightly more expensive, and holds up relatively well and resists moisture.

Metal weatherstripping is available in bronze, copper, stainless steel, and aluminum. These types of weatherstripping last for years and can be matched to existing door hardware. Door sweeps can be installed at the bottom of a door and can have rubber or bristles to reduce the amount of air that can flow under the door when closed.

Door-bottom edge stripping is available at most home improvement or building centers. But better quality stripping may be available in bulk quantities at reasonable prices through a commercial window or door company.

Angie's List has trusted consumer reviews in more than 500 service categories, including handymen, electricians, plumbers and roofers. Visit Angie's List for information on highly rated service providers in the Washington, D.C. area.

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