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Is your house way too drafty? Here is what you need to look at!

Most homeowners experience drafts in their houses during the freezing months every winter. The severity of drafts may vary from one property to another and the sheer discomfort and the frequency of cold waves may vary. A house or a room may be drafty for a number of different reasons. It is quite possible there is only one cause. However, multiple causes coexisting simultaneously are also common. Whenever you experience drafts, you should try and figure out the actual cause. Unless you identify the root issue, there is no remedy. Also, you should not wait till your house feels too drafty. Respond immediately when you feel cold waves and nominal discomfort despite the heater working fine.


Common Causes of Draft in Winter


airtight-doors The most common causes of a drafty house are the doors and windows. Both doors and windows are the gateways to the world beyond a room. In case of the main door, it is the gateway for the entire property. All doors and windows can be the cause of draftiness. It does not matter what type of doors and windows you have. Windows that don’t open and are hence completely sealed or self contained will surely be more airtight than windows that open. However, sealed units can also have leaks. The primary reason why a room feels drafty is because there is some source of cold air. You would not experience drafts simply because your heater is set at a lower temperature or the thermostat is broken. You would feel the temperature reducing slowly. Drafts are sudden bursts of cold air and they tend to make a room feel chillier, uncomfortable and at times moist due to the constant fluctuations in temperature that directly impacts humidity.


If you have old doors and windows, if they have been damaged or if they are in dire conditions, then you must contemplate changing them or fixing them. Most drafts are caused or facilitated by doors and windows. It is usually the windows, more than the doors. The latter is much easier to inspect and homeowners usually get to know when they don’t operate properly. Windows are not operated during winters. They remain closed and are expected to stand the test of time and freezing temperature. Old, damaged or worn out windows will not pass such a test. There may be gaps, cracks, holes or other forms of inlets that are allowing cold air to seep into your room.


It is not always the doors and windows though. Any type of fixture installed in the wall, floor or ceiling, from appliances to lights, can compromise the insulation in a room. The room will effectively fail to remain airtight. The fireplace that is supposed to keep you warm and comfortable may also be the cause of draft. If the damper of the chimney is open when the fireplace is not in use, then your house will be too drafty. The other major cause of drafts is the attic. If your attic is not properly insulated, then your house would be too drafty. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not realize this until they check everything else.


snow-on-your-roof Most attics have insufficient insulation. If the attic is indeed the problem, then your entire house may be drafty, not just one room. However, it is quite possible only some rooms will feel excessively drafty and others may seem fine. This often leads homeowners to believe that the attic insulation is not the issue. You must have a professional inspection done to gauge if your attic is under insulated or if there is some other problem. A simple way to know if your attic is under insulated is to observe how fast the snow melts on your roof. If it melts sooner than what is normal, then your attic has insufficient insulation. The snow on your roof will melt before the snow melts on your neighbors’ roofs only when your attic allows the leak of warm air from inside your house.


Be Proactive to Avert Drafts


This may seem to be a little obvious but you can prevent drafty indoors during winter by being proactive during the summer and through fall. If your doors or windows are worn out, if there are significant gaps or leaps, cracks or holes, if your drywall is damaged or if the attic has poor insulation, then this will reflect in your energy bills. Also, your cooling and ventilation units will not seem to be as efficient as earlier. Some of the symptoms may be a little hard to determine or observe but you can be proactive and cautious to identify the early signs. You can then respond in time and resolve the issues even before the mercury plummets below frost point.

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Google Rating
Sanjay Tamang
3 months ago
Love our new windows and doors. We had all our windows replaced on the main floor, side door and front door, as well as the storm doors. The installation team was great. They removed the existing awning and were really great at cleaning up after the work. There were a couple of issues after the install, but the after sales service team of Alex and Walter were able to resolve it promptly. Great advice from Walter about keeping the humidity inside the house to maintain the windows, and also how to operate them properly. And thanks very much Alex and team for buying the doorbell and installing it for us, as well as fixing the bottom part of the door frames to cover holes on the flooring. Appreciate all your hard work and for going the extra mile. Will definitely recommend your company to friends, neighbors and family.
Thomas Carlyle
a month ago
NorthShield did an excellent job with our house. They were the lowest price our of 4 companies I contacted for quotes. The windows look beautiful, and the molding is very well done. The installation was very quick, they replaced all of the windows in our house in about 4 hours. They cleaned up everything completely afterwards inside and outside, you can't even tell they were here! Very professional, very high quality installation, materials and work. I would highkly recommend them.
Courtney Schappert
3 months ago
Likely a good company for windows, installers seemed competent. However for doors they seemed to have much less experience. My salesman left the company midway through the process and I wasn't informed, and turns out some miscommunication between him and I led to a product I didn't want. The door is nice, just not what I had thought I ordered, and it took about 4 months to get, so I accepted it. The paint also chipped after they left, which leaves a bad feeling (even though that's more of a manufacturer issue than NorthShield issue). I'm not saying these guys are going to be bad for you, but I'm not thrilled with my result. REPLY December 5, 2018: I had called about the paint chip and wrong door options already at the time and was told there was no recourse for me. The paint chip was there when I came home from work after the door was installed, but you provided a picture the installers took before the paint was chipped, so at that time I was told there was no recourse. The wrong options I was told was due to a salesman who took my order having left the company, and there was no paperwork showing my chosen option (no door handle hole to be cut). I will call again tomorrow and update this with the results of that conversation.
Carl To
5 months ago
Alex and the team at north shield were amazing. Great customer service, along with a great team of installers. North shield replaced my 2 front living room windows in 1 day. They even took away my awning! Highly recommended
4 months ago
Very professional workers that despite finding, no vapor barrier and wood rot on our deck, fixed it right and continued to install our very beautiful door and side light without complaint. I would highly recommend Northshield to any friends, neighbors or anyone else. I am a very Happy, Happy Gal with my beautiful new door!
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