When the temperature dips below freezing, it’s a good time to check for air leaks around your Ottawa doors and windows. Air leaks create energy waste and make your home feel drafty, so inspecting and repairing them can save you a lot of money on your heating bills. The good news is that finding air leaks is an easy job. And while window companies recommend that very old, drafty doors and windows be replaced with new energy efficient models, most air leaks can be sealed through a simple DIY project.

Winters are harsh in Ottawa. Doors and windows in your home require the proper care to last a long time. Here are some tips that window companies recommend to help you find and repair air leaks around your doors and windows this winter:

1. Take a look around Ottawa, your doors and windows may have large gaps that can let outside air in. Gaps in windows and doors tend to occur around deteriorated caulking, rot in the frames, cracked window panes or doors, and around locks that won’t fully close due to jams or warping. For doors, sunlight coming in under the doorway also means a lot of air is leaking into your home.

2. Inspect windows for cracks in the window panes, and inspect your doors for any large cracks in the door itself. If you find any cracks in either the windows or doors, you will have to replace them. This is a great time to invest in energy efficient models, which can be recommended by door and window companies in your area.

3. Window companies may also recommend that you give your windows and doors a shake to see if they rattle. If they do, it means that there is space in between the frame and the door or window. Luckily, this problem can be easily solved by applying caulking or weather stripping to the surrounding frame.

4. Locks are another area where air can seep in. If your door lock feels like it is jamming, it could mean the hinges need tightening. Issues with the locks also indicate that the door is loose in its frame, which can be remedied with weather stripping. For windows, check for top locks that don’t fully fit into the latches, loose cranks on casement windows, and double-hung windows that don’t close firmly. All of these window issues are easily repaired by tightening latches or applying caulking and weather stripping, but if you’re not sure what needs to be done, window companies are always available to make repairs.

5. Conduct a home air pressure test to find smaller air leaks around your Ottawa doors and windows. To do this, lock all of your doors and windows, close all vents, and turn on all of your exhaust fans. Next, pass a burning stick of incense along the openings of all doors and windows. The smoke from the incense will help you to pin point any areas where air is rushing in.