Sustainability made simple

Got a Drafty Door? How to Find the Cause and 6 Ways to Fix It

drafty door
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / neshom

If you have a drafty door, then we can help you to fix it. We've listed the best solutions to help stop a drafty door in its tracks, helping you to save on energy costs.

A drafty door can be highly annoying when you’re trying to relax and stay warm. It could also potentially increase your energy bills and waste valuable resources as drafts allow heat to escape and cold air to enter. This could end up being more costly for you and the environment long term. 

For both these reasons, alongside your own comfort, it is important to make sure you have a correctly insulated door. Some solutions for drafty doors are short-term and budget friendly, while others are costly but effective for the long term.   

Finding the Cause of a Drafty Door

Candles can help you to identify the source of a draft.
Candles can help you to identify the source of a draft.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Ri_Ya)

There are a few ways that you can identify a drafty door. One method is to use a wind meter. This works if you’re looking for accurate and specific readings. The device is able to measure how much air is flowing in and out of a space in your home and will help you to pinpoint the specific draft-causing locations. Looking at the ‘flagpole’ of the wind meter should show you in which direction the wind is blowing. 

Another method for identifying a drafty door is using a candle. You can hold the candle in specific areas where you suspect that there is a draft. If the candle flickers or is completely blown out, then you know that the source of a draft is nearby.  

Rather than using candles that contain paraffin, you can use more sustainable alternatives such as soy candles. Soy candles are derived from renewable sources and are 100% biodegradable.  

You can also use a fan or hairdryer to asses if your door is letting drafts through. To do so, stand on one side of your door and have someone stand on the other side. Turn on the appliance and blow it through all the different areas of the door. If the other person can feel a breeze, then you know your door is letting through a draft. Even better, you know exactly where from.

Alternatively, you can use yourself as a tool to identify draft sources. Simply stand in areas where you suspect a draft, nearby your doors or windows, and see if you can feel a soft breeze. 

Short-Term Solutions for Drafty Doors

Towels are a cheap way to help prevent drafts.
Towels are a cheap way to help prevent drafts.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Engin_Akyurt)

Now you have identified the source of your drafty door, it’s time to fix it. Below, we’ve listed some short-term and cost-effective solutions you can use in a pinch:

  • Towel: Use a towel to create a tight seal between the door and the frame. This is best for when the source of the draft is located at the bottom of the door. 
  • Draft snake: You can install a draft snake along the bottom of your door, which will help to block out the draft. Draft snakes come available in an assortment of cute designs. However, you could even make your own draft snake and fill it with rice, fabric scraps, or dried beans/pulses. The choice is yours. 

These are both cost-effective solutions to prevent drafts from coming into your home. If you want to fix a draft that is coming from the side or on top of your door, consider using foam tape, which is useful for larger gaps.       

Long-Term Solutions for Drafty Doors

Replacing your door is a costlier method of preventing drafts.
Replacing your door is a costlier method of preventing drafts.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / nattanan23)

If you are looking for a long-term solution, there are several options available to keep drafty doors at bay. Here are some options that you can choose from:

  • Weatherstripping: Replacing your weather stripping should help to reduce air leaks, which will provide better protection against drafts. This is also a fairly inexpensive option for anyone on a budget.
  • Door sweep: A door sweep is a cheap and effective way to prevent drafts from coming through the bottom of your door. The best door sweeps are ones that don’t damage your door, for example, an automatic door bottom or an aluminum/vinyl screw-in door sweep.
  • Door replacement: Although replacing your door may be considered a more expensive option, it is a suitable long-term fix rather than a temporary one. Having a good quality door will also help you to save on energy bills, as it will be more effective at keeping in heat. 
  • Realignment: If your door seems to be misaligned, you can try realigning it and observing if it stops the drafts. 

These are long-term solutions and may cost more compared to shorter-term options. If you feel intimidated by any of these tasks or maybe don’t have the best hand in DIY, it is probably best to let a professional complete the task. This way, you can rest assured that the job will be done properly and you are getting real value for your money.

What Are the Benefits?

Fixing a drafty door could help to lower your energy usage.
Fixing a drafty door could help to lower your energy usage.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Al3xanderD)

Fixing a drafty door is in the best interest of both you and the planet. While you could get to save money on energy bills, you’re also helping the planet by reducing energy usage. This is because you’ll be using less energy to heat up your home, as cold air will not be entering as easily through cracks and openings in your door. If cold air enters a space, it will cool down faster as the warmer air escapes.

While renewable energy is becoming increasingly popular, fossil fuels are still used within the USA. In 2021, fossil fuels accounted for about 79% of the country’s energy production — a sizable amount. That’s why it’s important not to waste energy when the problem is avoidable. 

As an individual, you will also be able to enjoy a warmer space in the winter months and be able to enjoy feeling more snug. This is yet another benefit of fixing a drafty door. It may also help to clean air in homes in urban areas, as drafts may allow polluted air to enter your home.   

Flipping the scenario, you can also insulate your home in the summer months to keep it cooler. Doing so may again, help you to save on energy bills as it may not be necessary to use cooling in your home. 


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