Drafty Room Fixes
by Nicole Stevens
Older houses come with a certain charm, but sometimes that also come with a cold chill. Drafty rooms are a nuisance in older home owning, and it all usually starts upstairs in the attic. Most old homes equip with attics don’t have completely proper installation causing a “stack effect." This is when all the warm air travels to the upper level of the home and finds small cracks or holes or any out of the ceiling and the warm air escapes. Thus creating a vacuum effect and sucking all the chilly outside air in as the warm air leaves. This can happen with older homes that are one story as well, though the stack effect doesn’t apply in the same way, holes or cracks in a home can cause drafts to occur. So, what can be done about a chilly, drafty room beside burning up your heat bill by cranking up the thermostat? Here are a few helpful tips to keep that chilly room much toastier come winter!
- Fill in the cracks! Use a caulking gun to fill up any open cracks or holes found alongside trim on the walls, especially in gaps between plaster and trim.
- Cracks in the door are always tricky, until now. Recycle an old pool noodle from summer by cutting it in half (or quarters) and attaching it to the base of the door. Cover the cut noodle in a fabric and bolt or seal it to the door, covering the cracks.
- Grab that old itchy wool blanket from the closet and use it as a makeshift “thermal curtain” over windows.
- Using a thin plastic sheet (think cling wrap) or even bubble wrap over windows can show a drastic difference in temperature by keeping up to 55% of the warmth in the room.
- For bare, non-carpeted floors, rugs are a good addition to tie a room together and also keep your feet warm! Layering rugs is also a good idea if applicable in the room’s décor.
- A plastic shower curtain can also be used to block drafts from larger/longer windows.
- If you’re mostly trying to keep the draft out of certain rooms, a bedsheet barrier is efficient. Using pushpins, attach the sheet to the ceiling on both upper corners to block draft from entering certain open rooms/areas.
- Styrofoam sheets make good, cheap insulators. Especially good for basements windows or blocking drafts from fireplaces.
- Most of these ideas can be picked up at a dollar store, or even found in spare closets/drawers. It doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg to stay warm in the harsh winter!