Check for air leaks!  With windows and doors closed, hold a lit stick of incense near window and door frames where drafts might sneak in.  Watch for smoke movement.  Note what sources need caulk, sealant, and weather-stripping.  Seal air leaks around windows.

If you have OLD WINDOWS, caulking and adding new weatherstripping goes a LONG WAY toward tightening them up according to Video Joe.

  • Bronze weatherstripping (usually $12 for 17 feet) lasts for decades but IS time-consuming to install.
  • Self-stick plastic types are easy to put on but don't last very long.
  • Adhesive-backed EPDM rubber ($8 for 10 feet) is a good compromise, related to last at least 10 years.

Cool gadgets called pulley seals ($9 a pair) block air from streaming through the holes where cords disappear into the frames.

Seall air leaks around DOORS.  Check for air leaks, and replace old door weatherstripping:

  • Foam-tupe tape has an adhesive backing, it's inexpensive and easy to install.  If it comes loose, reinforce it with staples.
  • Felt is either adhesive-backed or comes with flexible metal reinforcement, it must be tacked or glued into place.  It is cheap and easy to install, but it has low durability.
  • Tubular rubber, vinyl, and silicone weatherstripping is relatively expensive and tricky to install, but it provides an excellent seal.  Some types come with flange designed weatherstripping and replace with similar style.

Check exterior trim for any gaps between the trim and your door frames, and the trim and your siding.  Caulk gaps with an exterior latex caulk ($5 for a 10-ounce tube).

If a draft comes in at the bottom, check the condition of the threshold gasket.  Replace worn gaskets.  If you can  see daylight under the door, you may need to install a new threshold with a taller gasket ($25 for a 36-inch door).  Or, install a weather-resistannt door sweep designed for exterior doors.  Door sweeps attach directly to the door and are easy to install