No matter where you are in the world or the U.S., many of us adore our screen porch, sunroom, or 3 season porches. When chilly days are ahead however, that often means a rising in heating costs and many of us are on the lookout for finding new ways to keep the cold out while maintaining our budgets.
It is possible to lower heating costs for your sunroom or 3 season porches by considering some insulation for your screen porch. Even a little bit of insulation could go a long way in keeping cold air from seeping into the porch if you don’t heat it, to allow you to enjoy your beloved porch for a few extra weeks before winter truly sets in. Insulating the roof, floor, and walls is an excellent means to enjoy the maximum benefits of your favorite screen porch.
DIY Heat Lock-In
You might be surprised just how much a tiny bit of air can drastically chill an area and cause your heating bill to slowly skyrocket or create a space that’s far too cold to be comfortable in. When the wind can whistle in through doors, windows, or screens you can stop drafts by creating a simply stitched draft stopper.
When it comes to choosing what fabrics to create a draft stopper, you can choose a pattern or color you love but we recommend whatever fabric you choose, make sure it has good weight and texture to it. The reason why you’d want a heavier fabric with texture is that it will help lock in heat. Sew together with a basic tube shape and then add a filling of foam of your choice, then sew it shut.
For a super simple filling, consider a polyethylene tube that can be easily cut. Polyethylene tubes are fantastic for insulation and have been used to insulate agriculture, around young tree trunks to prevent freezes, pipe insulation and more, making it perfect for keeping drafts at bay.
Other excellent foam insulators to consider are Polystyrene, Polypropylene, Cross-linked Polyethylene, Volara type 2a, Neoprene, and Minicel.
You can provide double the protection with a simple DIY draft stopper by using a dual-sided draft blocker. Instead of a single long tube of draft-stopping filler, you’d join together two long tubes with a bit of flat fabric. This will place a draft stopping filling outside of the door and a second one inside, giving you double the draft protection.
For ease of use, you’ll want a rigid foam filling like the polyethylene tube as suggested above for this to work best.
How to Make Single Door or Window Draft Stoppers
- Medium or heavy-weight fabric (how much you’ll need will be determined by your window or door size and how many you would like to make)
- Tape measure
- Sewing machine and thread
- Straight pins
- Insulating foam
- Measure your window or door. Measuring the space that you need to create a draft stopper for will make sure that your project works well and help ensure you don’t waste supplies.
- Once you have your measurements, it’s time to cut the fabric. Add 4 inches to the width of the measurement of your window or door. No matter how wide the door or window is, cut the fabric roughly 8 inches tall. You should not have a long rectangle of fabric.
- Fold your fabric in half lengthwise so that the long edges are touching each other, then pin these edges together using a few straight pins.
- Using your sewing machine, sew the long edge where the pins are and one of the short ends. You’ll want to leave one of the short ends open to insert your insulating foam. Sew several backward stitches so the ends are firmly sewn shut. You could do this by hand if you don’t have a sewing machine, it’s just much easier and less time-consuming with the help of a machine.
- Turn your newly sewn fabric tube inside out.
- Fill your fabric tube with your chosen insulating foam.
- Pin the last open side carefully so that if you are using loose foam pieces the materials don’t fall out. Then, sew the end shut remembering to sew backward stitches at both ends to ensure everything remains secure.
That’s all there is to making a single draft stopper! These are fantastic around your screen porch windows or doors to keep the chilly wind from rattling through. The excellent things about these draft stoppers are that they aren’t permanent, don’t require heavy-duty permanent installations or changes to your screen or sun porches, and can be neatly tucked away during the warmer months when they aren’t needed.
Other Insulation Ideas
Did you know that foam can be used to insulate more than just a draft stopper? Closed-cell foams such as polystyrene and polyethylene are amazing insulators with high thermal resistance. If your screen porch floor is made from wood, there may be spacing between the slabs. Sealing the spacing will help, but you can also install strips or panels of foam insulation along the underside of the floor to keep the cold at bay. And surprisingly, during summer, it may help keep your porch or sunroom cooler!
You can do the same to your ceiling, though it will be a little bit tougher to insulate an already built sunroom or screen porch ceiling as you will no doubt have to remove the outer layer to place the foam.
Insulation for your screen porch however can be as easy as you need when you consider using foam in all of its shapes and sizes. If you are looking for the highest quality foam boards, rolls, and more cut to size and customization, we’re happy to help with that!