Ways to Install Weather Stripping on Your Windows

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Ways to Install Weather Stripping on Your Windows

With rising energy costs, drafty windows and doors can drain money. Tight-fitting weather stripping stops air leaks and saves energy. Felt strips or s

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With rising energy costs, drafty windows and doors can drain money. Tight-fitting weather stripping stops air leaks and saves energy. Felt strips or self-stick foam tapes are available and inexpensive. A rubber seal tape is more durable than felt and regains shape after compression. Check for air leaks by holding your hand near a door or window frame. If you feel a breeze, it’s time to install weather stripping.

Sealing the Sill

You can purchase inexpensive felt strips to seal the gap where the bottom of a window sash closes on the sill. Felt is often hammered into place and comes in rolls of various lengths, widths, and colors. If you choose this option, round off the strip’s sharp edges so they don’t snag on the sash. EPDM rubber weatherseal tape is also effective and lasts longer than foam. Consider using spring bronze metal strips nailed in place if you have a casement or sliding window with a wood frame.

Tension seals are moderately priced and spring open to plug leaks around movable windows and doors. They are the best choice for side channels on double-hung windows and tight-fitting doors. Peel-and-stick vinyl options are easy to apply and stay in place without adhesive. They’re a good choice for high-traffic areas.

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Sealing the Frame

weather stripping

Before replacing or installing weather stripping, ensure the window or door frame is tidy and dry. It will improve the longevity of the new seals and ensure they work properly to cut down on air drafts. The type of weather stripping you choose depends on your location and needs. Felt and foams are cheap but don’t hold up well to moisture, while metals and vinyl are more expensive but durable.

Foam tape comes in various widths and thicknesses and is good for filling small gaps but wears quickly. Open- or closed-cell foam is better at bouncing back after compression, but it can only be used on the inside. Tubular vinyl is inexpensive and effective, and types that can be nailed in place last longer than peel-and-stick varieties.

Sealing the Sash

Sealing the Sash

To prevent drafts from blowing up inside the window, apply a strip of V-strip around the bottom edge of the lower sash. Cut the strip of V-strip to the same length as the sash plus an inch. This extra inch allows you to trim the strip to size when you’re done. Use rope caulk to seal the gap between the upper and lower sash. Should it be required, use your finger to smooth the caulk bead.

Adhesive-backed foam weather stripping is inexpensive, easy to install and works well where the sash closes against the sill or a door closes against a frame. It’s also good for the side channels of double-hung windows.

It compresses as the sash closes and can cut energy costs by closing gaps and reducing air leaks. It’s also available as a peel-and-stick type. Another option is tubular vinyl, which is more durable than foam tape but adds to the cost.

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Sealing the Jamb

With the upper sash closed, cut two pieces of tubular vinyl with a metal reinforcement on one side and nail them along the outside face of the lower-sash meeting rail. Orient these strips with the nailing edge down so they pull against their mates and are hidden from inside view when the window is open.

Also, apply foam tape (open or closed cell) to both sides’ top and bottom of the stops. Alternatively, use rope caulk, which can be pressed between the holidays and sill to prevent air leaks. V-strips made of durable, flexible vinyl are effective on wood window frames and doors;

they stick to the structure and door and fold in when the sash closes. Another option is spring bronze weather stripping, which snaps into place and seals gaps between wood window frames and jambs. This type works well on sliding windows but requires more specialized installation than the other products mentioned.

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