When winter rolls around, warm and toasty beats cold and drafty.

Poorly insulated windows and doors can also cause significant heat loss and higher energy bills.

Here are a few tips for detecting and stopping drafts at their source.

Not sure if your windows are drafty? Hold a lit candle close to the window seams (remove curtains or shades first); if it wavers or bends, you have a draft.

  • Check caulking on the outside of your home, which dries out and loosens with time and the summer sun. Re-caulk as needed.
  • Use weather-stripping around window and door seams, or shrink-wrap windows with the film insulation kits available at hardware stores.
  • If your windows are older or poorly insulated behind the adjoining walls, consider replacing them. Replacement windows can pay for themselves in 5 to 10 years in many cases and increase your enjoyment and the value of your home immediately.