Weather stripping and door snakes? Check and check. If your house is drafty and cold in the winter, you've likely already been looking at ways to batten down the hatches. From adding an interior vestibule, planting wind-blocking hedges, and reviving the lost art of portieres to using windows with the tightest seal, these eight ideas can help.
1. Add a vestibule. If your front door opens directly into your living space, consider building a small vestibule. A petite glassed-in version, like the one shown here, won't take up too much space and will still allow light to pass through. A vestibule will protect the interior from wind blowing in each time you open the door; it will also stop smaller drafts from seeping through day and night.
2. Hang portieres in open doorways. Floor-length drapes hung between rooms, called portieres, are an old tradition wel-worth reviving. They keep drafts in wide halls or unused rooms from making their way into warm spaces.
3. Enclose your porch. Just like adding a vestibule, enclosing a front porch is a great way to keep wind and drafts from entering a home. A covered porch has the added benefit of providing shelter to visitors as they wait for you to answer the door.
4. Plant wind-blocking hedges. If winds are an issue around your home, planting tall hedges or installing another wind-blocking feature (a fence, trees) on the north side of your home can help keep those strong winds at bay.
5. Hang superthick drapes. Nice, thick fabrics, like velvet, especially when lined for extra warmth, do a good job of stopping drafts from seeping through windows into your rooms. Want even more warmth? Start with blinds or shades and layer heavy drapes on top.
6. Add functional shutters. Well-designed shutters, like the awning-style Bermuda shutters shown here, can be opened in summer to provide shade and shed rain, and shut in winter to block drafts and protect windows from strong (even hurricane-force) winds.
7. Choose awning or casement windows. There is a lot of talk about choosing insulated windows (which definitely helps!), but did you know that the style of your windows can affect how drafty they are? Some of the most common window types, including single- and double-hung and sliding windows, tend to leak a bit of air. Awning, casement, and fixed windows provide the tightest seal.
8. Let the sun shine in. Be sure to open any curtains on south-facing windows during the day to let the sun warm your rooms.
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