person installing weather stripping to a door
Photo: Kristine Larsen
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Beef Up Your Weatherstripping

Over time, the seals around windows and doors wear out, letting in chill winter air and prompting you to crank up the thermostat. But you don't have to replace old windows to boost efficiency. In fact, when Kevin O'Connor, the host of This Old House, renovated his 1894 Queen Anne, he never once considered replacing its original double-hung windows with modern ones.

"It would kill me to put new windows in this house," he says. For one thing, the handcrafted sash and blown-glass panes would be costly to replace—as much as $1,000 apiece—and substituting anything less would destroy much of the old place's charm. Still, he was dismayed by how much air leaked in during the winter, even with outside storm windows in place.

To fix the problem, he needed a product that was both effective and unobtrusive. For about $60 and an hour's installation time per window, Kevin got the leak-free performance of a new unit while saving a valuable piece of his house's history, as well as dollars off his heating bill. For more, see 9 Steps to Airtight Windows and TOH's Essential Guide to Weatherstripping. We've also got step-by-step instructions to Make Your Doors Draft-Free with Weatherstripping.
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