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Draft Dodgers: DIY Solutions to Prevent Heat Loss

submitted on 24 December 2023 by homeandgardenlistings.co.uk

A Mysterious Chill in the Air

As the biting wind howls outside and you sit in your fortress, wrapped in a blanket with a hot cup of tea, you may notice a certain chill creeping in. Perhaps it's the ghost of a long-dead ancestor, envious of your modern-day luxuries. Or perhaps it's something far more sinister: a draft. To fight off this insidious enemy and maintain your home's warmth, you must become a draft dodger.

Unraveling the Culprits

Like a detective sniffing out a conspiracy, you must first identify the sources of the draft in your home. The usual suspects include windows, doors, and electrical outlets. To determine where the wind invades your sanctuary, try the following:
  • Hold a lit candle or a stick of incense near the edges of windows, doors, and outlets. Watch for flickering or uneven smoke trails, which indicate an unwelcome breeze.
  • Moisten your hand and hold it near the same areas. A sudden cold sensation means the presence of a draft.
  • On a dark night, shine a flashlight around doors and windows while someone else stands outside to spot the telltale light escaping through cracks.
With the infiltrators now exposed, you can begin plotting your strategic counteroffensive.

Battling the Windows and Doors

Windows and doors are the primary entry points for drafts, and you must seal them tightly like a tomb. Here are some ways to barricade your home and prevent the loss of precious heat:
  • Weatherstripping: Line the edges of doors and windows with adhesive-backed foam tape to create a tight seal. For a more stylish touch, opt for V-strip tape, which can be easily painted or stained to match your decor.
  • Door sweeps: Attach these to the bottom of doors to block the gap between the door and the floor. You can find them in various materials, such as rubber, brush, or metal. Just be sure to choose a sweep that won't scuff your floors during its valiant defense.
  • Window film: This clear plastic film can be applied directly to your windows, creating an invisible barrier against drafts. Simply cut the film to size, apply it with double-sided tape, and use a hairdryer to shrink it to a perfect, wrinkle-free fit. When spring arrives, you can easily remove the film without damaging your windows.
  • Door snakes: These long, stuffed fabric tubes can be placed at the base of a door to block drafts. You can purchase one or make your own by sewing a fabric sleeve and stuffing it with rice, beans, or batting. Give it a fearsome name to strike fear into the hearts of drafts everywhere.
Armed with these defenses, your windows and doors will be impenetrable bastions against the cold.

Shielding Your Outlets and Light Switches

Though they may seem innocent, electrical outlets and light switches can be insidious accomplices to your draft problem. However, don't despair; a few simple measures can turn these traitors into allies:
  • Foam gaskets: Remove the cover plates from your outlets and switches, and install pre-cut foam gaskets underneath. These create a tight seal, preventing drafts from sneaking through the cracks. Replace the cover plates, and rest easy knowing your outlets and switches have been tamed.
  • Child safety plugs: When your outlets aren't in use, insert plastic child safety plugs to block drafts. Not only will your home be warmer, but you'll also protect your curious pets and children from the hazards of electrical sockets.
  • Insulating boxes: For the truly dedicated draft dodger, consider installing insulating boxes behind outlets and switches. These foam-lined boxes act as a barrier between the outlet and the wall, keeping cold air out and your precious heat in.
With these reinforcements in place, your home's electrical fixtures will no longer be a weak point in your anti-draft armor.

A Triumphant Victory Over Drafts

Now that you've fortified your home against the chilling onslaught of drafts, you can once again sit in warmth and comfort. Sip your tea, bask in the glow of your well-insulated abode, and regale your friends and family with tales of your epic battle against the cold. The draft dodger's legacy lives on in your impenetrable fortress, warmed by the fires of victory.


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