The greatest source of wasted heating and cooling energy in a home is air leaks. Weather-stripping is an easy do-it-yourself solution. It is a foam or vinyl strip with a self-adhesive backing that is used to seal doors and windows. The principal is similar to the seal on a refrigerator door.
You should choose the type of weather-stripping that can withstand the weathering conditions of its specific location. For doors and windows that are used most frequently, use more permanent types of weather-stripping. Click here for more information on choosing the correct weather-stripping product for your project.Weather-stripping should be installed on a door jamb so the material creates a seal with the exterior face of the door on the top and both sides.
Weather-stripping on windows is more complicated than on doors, because it has to be placed in the tracks as well as above, below and between the sashes. Metal or plastic v-channel weather-stripping should be used in the tracks of the windows and in between the sashes. This may need nails or staples to secure it permanently. Foam or vinyl self-adhesive weather-stripping can be used between the upper and lower sashes and the frame.
Door sweeps, thresholds, and door shoes are good ways to seal gaps under exterior doors. Caulking is another way to eliminate door and window air leaks.
To learn more about sealing home air leaks, download this pdf fact sheet from the Florida Energy Systems Consortium.