What is it? Weatherizing (or weatherproofing as they say in the UK) simply means protecting the building from weather. Weather, proof. See?!
Adding insulation slows the loss of hot or cold air from inside the home via conduction, whereas weatherizing stops losses from convection – i.e., through cracks, poor seals, and holes.
Weatherizing has received a lot of attention in colder climates because of the high cost of winter heating. But we can benefit greatly here in Florida, too, from sealing and securing our leaky homes.
- If you can close your front door and pull a dollar bill through the space between the door and the frame, it leaks.
- If you can hold a lit candle next to the window and see it flicker, you have a leak.
- Other concerns are joints in air conditioning vents but you’ll need a professional inspection to find these.
The good news is that sealing and securing leaks is inexpensive and easy to do yourself, with the aid of some online guidance and these three items:
- Spray foam
- Weather stripping
Use caulk around areas that don’t need to move freely – where things like wires, cables and pipes come into your house, or at joints where different parts meet, like the roof and walls.
Spray foam is for odd shaped places – the key target being under the kitchen sink where pipes head outside. Over time cracks and holes develop and, in addition to letting air out, they provide a handy conduit for insects to get in. Stop this with a few squirts of expandable foam.
Weather stripping is a bit more complex as you need to pick the right product for your project. Use it around window frames and door seals.
If you’re not quite ready to put on your DIY hat, you can always have fun making a funky, old fashioned, draft “snake” (draught excluders in the UK). Every little bit helps: it’s awfully expensive to air condition the State of Florida!