Weatherstripping is tailor made to seal air leaks around moving parts, like doors and windows. This is an extremely cost-effective home improvement for Asheville area homeowners, creating a tight seal to keep out drafts and making a noticeable dent in your utility costs. For air leaks, gaps or cracks in stationary areas like walls or window casings, caulk is the appropriate material. For maximum savings, be sure to tackle hidden leakage and heat loss in ductwork. Your HVAC contractor can help locate these leaks, advising you on best fixes and solutions like duct sealing.
First, locate the air leaks and think about the unique needs of each area. The weatherstripping material you select must be durable enough to stand up to friction from opening and closing, the changing seasons and daily temperatures, a certain amount of traffic and more. For example, when applied to the foot of a door or threshold, the weatherstripping might drag on carpet or wear down from foot traffic.
Weatherstripping a window must allow for sliding action—up, down, to the side, in or out. The product you choose should seal drafts when windows or doors are closed but allow them to open easily as needed. Invest in a durable material so you won’t need to replace it in the near future.
Comparing and choosing a product
Inexpensive felt or open-cell foam is vulnerable to weather, easily seen and not efficient at blocking airflow. Ease of application does make the material useful for lower-traffic areas. Vinyl is a bit more costly but is much stronger and resistant to moisture. Metals like copper, stainless steel, aluminum or bronze will last many years and are still affordable. Metal weatherstripping may offer a more elegant or traditional flair for older houses or classic designs.
When sealing an irregularly-shaped spot, you may need more than one type of material. Compare available products to determine the best trade-off between price, intended use and product life. See the Energy.gov chart of materials for guidance.
Need advice about weatherstripping or sealing drafts? Contact the home comfort experts at Smoky Mountain Heating & Air. We serve homeowners in and around the Asheville area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Asheville, North Carolina and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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