Cut that Wintertime Draft; Save Money

Would you drill a 5-1/2 inch hole in the side of your house in the middle of winter?  Of course not, but that's what you have if you have a 1/8" gap around your front door.  It's even larger if the gap is wider.

Want to save some money, and keep the cold drafts out from around your door?  It's easy, and cost less than $3.00, and you don't need a professional to do it.  Some basic tools and felt weatherseal and you're ready to tackle this easy project.  The felt weatherseal around your old door, if you have any at all, is likely compressed, torn, and ready for replacement.  Let's get to it.

First, you'll need to measure the space where the weatherseal will go.  You probably have old material there already, so peel that back and measure the width of the wood around the door stop.  The picture shows a door frame with old seal removed at top.

 The top weatherstrip is removed allowing you to measure the width.  This is the space the red arrow is pointing.

The top weatherstrip is removed allowing you to measure the width.  This is the space the red arrow is pointing.

 Felt Weatherseal - this package from Westlake Hardware, is cheap at under $3 for one door's worth.

Felt Weatherseal - this package from Westlake Hardware, is cheap at under $3 for one door's worth.

See photo of felt weatherseal package.  When purchasing new seal get the size closest to the width of your door stop by the red arrow in photo of door frame above.  Expect to pay less than $3 for 17 feet, more than enough to do one average exterior door.

 TIP:  Use needle-nose pliers to hold these small nails when hammering in. Your fingers will thank you, and it makes it easier for precise placement.

TIP:  Use needle-nose pliers to hold these small nails when hammering in. Your fingers will thank you, and it makes it easier for precise placement.

You'll also want some small tacks or nails with a fat head.  See the photos for reference.  Note, it's best to nail these in gently and you do NOT need to bottom out the nail as it smashes down the felt too much, plus you'll want to pull this felt off when it's time replace it with new felt. 

PRO TIP:  Use needle-nose pliers to hold the small nails.  It saves your fingers and makes the easier and faster.

Finally, expect felt weatherseal to last from 2 to 5 years, but at its low cost, don't hesitate to replace it every couple of years to save money. Over time it will compress and lose some effectiveness.

Below is another closeup of the work.  This job should take you about 1/2 - 1 hour to complete.  One thing I did to make it easier was to remove the door.  Simply pull the door nails out and set the door aside, but you'll probably want help as some doors are rather heavy.  That's it!  I'll promise you the drafty cold air will be killed dead and you'll notice a warmer home and smaller utility bill.

 PRO TIP:  Make sure you butt the end into the previous piece to help effectively seal everywhere around the door.  The nails should be close to the end, and remember, don't pound them all the way down through the felt.

PRO TIP:  Make sure you butt the end into the previous piece to help effectively seal everywhere around the door.  The nails should be close to the end, and remember, don't pound them all the way down through the felt.