After a long summer of fun in the sun, the leaves have changed, the temperature has dropped, and autumn is finally in full swing. For some, this means hayrides, orchards, pumpkin picking, and enjoying treats like cider and donuts. There’s plenty to to love about autumn, even if it does usher in the end of summer and move us that much closer to winter.
Of course, there are a few things about autumn we’d rather not have to deal with. As cold air arrives and mixes with residual, mild air from summer, weather often takes a turn for the worse, resulting in temperature swings, storms, and wind – “The Witch of November,” as it has been called by troubadours over the years. Usually, we are able to escape the worst of this weather, but cold air and gusty winds can manifest themselves in your home in the form of drafts and chills. This is problematic for a couple reasons.
The first, and most obvious, is that drafts make your home uncomfortable. Nobody wants to be cozily relaxing in his or her favorite recliner, while a bone-chilling shot of air dances over them. It’s an unwanted distraction, especially when considering the whole point of staying indoors is to avoid the cold and elements!
Secondly, drafts and air leaks in your home stress your heating and cooling systems unnecessarily, resulting in higher bills, and additional wear and tear. Whether you’re using air conditioning or heat, outside air will affect the temperature of your room, and the system will have to keep working to match the thermostat, instead of getting a rest after reaching temperature. It can also work the other way too, since if a space is drafty, air can leave just as easily as it can enter. You’re paying for warm or cool air that’s disappearing from your home. It just doesn’t make sense, economically or ecologically.
Obviously, serious air leak and draft issues need to be handled on a higher level, in terms of better insulation, construction, and weatherstripping methods. (Take a look at our previous post on home insulation for more on this topic.) But for some people – renters in particular – making changes to the physical structure of a residence isn’t an area where they have much leeway. And for others, it may entail a degree of work they aren’t capable of, or carry a financial cost they aren’t prepared for. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re having issues with a drafty room, there is a product made just for you; one affordable and easy enough for anybody to use: Draft Stoppers.
The idea behind Draft Stoppers is a simple one – if you block the space where drafts get into your room or home, they can’t get into your room or home! These cylindrical forms can be placed at the thresholds of doorways and windows, helping to block off gaps or areas where stripping may not be doing a good-enough job.
Foam Factory, Inc. has introduced their own line of Draft Stoppers, perfect for any of the uses discussed above. Available in two sizes – 36-1/2″ and 55-1/2″ lengths – you can keep your home a little cozier this season.
Stuffed with polystyrene (EPS) pellets, these Draft Stoppers are both insulating and moldable. The filling is loose enough to fit into place within the 100 percent cotton twill covers, while small enough to get into gaps and create an air-blocking barrier.
In addition to stopping drafts from the outside of the home, draft stoppers are particularly useful within the home for people who close off rooms or sections of their home for the season. For example, if you have a guest room that only gets used during the summer, why heat it all winter? Closing the vents and covering the windows can help, but since internal doors aren’t designed with the same style jambs and thresholds as outer doors, there’s not much to stop the movement of air under the door. Enter the Draft Stopper, which can block that floor gap and help you keep the areas of your home you use comfortable, without the extra cost of heating a space that won’t be used for months.*
For renters, draft stoppers might also help combat the age-old issue of the neighbor who cooks food that fills the hallway with unwanted odors. Blocking that gap at the bottom of the door may help stop Gord in 208’s nightly fish dinner from stinking up your apartment.
With Draft Stoppers, you can stay comfier in your home, while saving on energy doing it. So, the next time the worst of autumn and winter stiffens flags and sets wires rattling, rest easier knowing you’ve got a little extra protection in your arsenal.
*Note: In particularly cold environments, it is important to maintain a baseline temperature to prevent problems such as freezing pipes, vapor, and other potential temperature-related issues.