Colder weather will be upon us before you know it. Despite enjoying milder winters here in north Georgia compared with the more northern reaches of the United States, living in the South doesn't protect us from feeling rushes of cold air coming through our windows and doors — especially in older houses with poor insulation.

Winter is coming, and naturally, you want to avoid feeling the chill, cranking up your thermostat, or spending all your time bundled under piles of blankets. To achieve an acceptable ambient temperature inside your home all winter long, you likely need to equip your home with better insulation from the cold.

The question is, what are the best ways to seal your windows for winter and stop exterior door drafts from bringing down your interior home temperatures to frigid levels? Here, we'll cover all you need to know about insulating old windows to fix the drafts and sealing your exterior doors to stop air from coming under the door. Read on for quick tips for keeping cold air out and warm air in this winter.

Keep the Winter Out: How to Fix Drafty Exterior Doors and Insulate Old Windows

In fixing a drafty door, the object is to stop air from coming in under your door and otherwise seal any gaps in the insulation. It's important to note that these gaps can not only inflate your heating bill, but also let in moisture and even small critters.

You want to make sure your doors and windows protect you from all the unwanted outdoor elements, and there are some easy ways to keep your windows and doors draft-free over the fall and winter. Keep in mind that these are not permanent solutions. We do not offer these services and several of these options should only be used as a temporary measure for those not ready to tackle the replacement project.

Here are a few cold window solutions and door fixes you can try at home:

1. Weatherstrip your windows

Weatherstripping can help plug the gaps and keep your warm air in and the drafty, cold air out. First, inspect the window to find places where the light shines through; that will identify the gaps. Once you know where the gaps are, make sure your windowsills and casings are in good condition. If they aren't, repair them. You'll want to select weatherstripping that's the same width as your window or door application surface and thick enough to fill the gap. Before attaching the weatherstripping, clean and dry the surfaces to prep them. Install the weatherstrip so that its material will compress when you close the door or window and create a seal. Then, check for the movement of air or light around your sealed gaps to make sure you've filled them appropriately.

2. Replace your old door sweeps

Installing new door sweeps can cut down on drafts as sweeps are designed to seal the gaps between the bottom of your door and the threshold. You can purchase a wood sweep and paint or stain it to match your door. Ensure a good fit by closing the door, measuring the door's width, and cutting the size you need. Then, drill holes and screw in your new sweep to secure it. Sweeps come in a few varieties, so checking with a pro can help you find the best investment.

3. Stick foam weatherstrip tape to your doors

Similar to weatherstripping your windows, you can add sticky foam tape to your door jamb to create a seal when you close your door. You'll open the door and clean the door's surface first for proper adhesion and apply the foam strip to the latch side of the door, the top of the door frame, and the door jamb on the hinge side of the door, all as needed. Simply apply the foam tape and cut it to the proper size, peel the paper off the foam side, and close the door to check the new and improved seal.

4. Put on an interior window film

Plastic film insulation can help you weatherize your windows and slash your heating bills in the winter. Measure and cut your plastic film so that it can frame the window and leave a few inches of extra film around each side of the window. You'll pull the sides taut and affix the plastic sheeting onto the window frame, which has been prepared with window tape. Once the sheeting is applied, press it firmly onto the window with a dry cloth and seal it with a hairdryer held about six inches back from the window surface. Once you've heated the plastic and removed the wrinkles, you can cut the excess sheeting away from the frame.

5. Add thermal curtains

Insulated curtains can help you retain heat during the winter. For best effectiveness, these curtains need to be pulled closed, so if you still want to let the sunshine in, these might not be the best option for windows in areas where you want natural light. Thermal curtains are also champs at reducing solar heat gain during the summer, so they can pull double duty.

6. Recaulk your windows and doors

Exterior caulking degrades over time and peels away, so you should make the rounds to your exterior windows and doors every so often to refresh the old spots and seal out any drafts.

No matter how well you insulate your windows and doors, the time eventually comes when you need to replace your old doors and windows. New windows have better technology to insulate your home that you will never achieve with your old windows. Interested in learning more about how replacement windows and doors can help insulate your home and save on your energy bills? Contact us today to request a free in-home proposal or a showroom appointment.