Check the label of an air conditioner for its Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) or compute it by dividing the cooling output by the energy input. The higher the EER value, the more efficient the unit.
|More Tips >|
Sealing drafty windows with weather stripping is a quick and easy way to save on energy costs and stay warmer this winter.
BY: Lisa Siglag
Weather-stripping windows takes a minimal amount of time and expense, but it offers a great return on your investment: It will keep you warm in the winter, lower your bills (by as much as 15 percent), prevent unwanted insects and reduce outside noise.
Rags or paper towels
Weather strip (self-stick V-strip tape)
Pencil and paper
A rag or paper towels
1. Look for leaks.
Run your hand over the edges of the windows to feel for air coming through, or very carefully hold a lit candle to see if it flickers near the window.
2. Clean the area.
Open your window, and use a rag or paper towel with some household cleanser to clean around the sash (the part of the window that opens) and jamb (the vertical sides of the window frame). Let dry completely.
3. Determine amount of weather stripping needed.
Measure the length and width of your window to see how much and what size weather stripping you’ll need.
4. Install the weather stripping.
Open the lower half of the window, and apply the self-adhesive weather stripping along the sides. Go all the way up, and let the material go past the halfway point, but leave the backing on the small portion at the top. Next, when you release the top of your window, attach the remaining piece and finish off the upper sides with more material. Finally, apply the weather stripping to the tops and bottoms of the windows.
Pick a warm day: The adhesive will work best on a warmer day, ideally over 50 degrees.
Test your work: Before you go ahead and weather-strip all your windows, make sure the window still functions well after the material is applied. You should have a tight fit, but the window should be operable.
Lisa Siglag is the former editor of House Beautiful Kitchens and Baths and a freelance writer specializing in home design. She has written for Good Housekeeping, House Beautiful Home Remodeling and Decorating, Custom Home and Country Living. Her dining room is graced with white beadboard and pale-blue walls. Lisa's articles have previously appeared in Home Sweet Solutions.