Weather Stripping – Better Late Than… – Part 1

OK, we are not perfect. We never said we were. One of our faults is putting off until tomorrow lots of very simply tasks. Does this also describe you? icon smile Weather Stripping   Better Late Than...   Part 1

Let’s talk about weather stripping. What is weather stripping? It is nothing more than a strip of material applied (using a peel and stick approach) to an opening of a door, window, etc. to prevent cold outside air entering and hot inside air leaving a home in the winter, the reverse in the summer (hot outside air entering and cool inside air leaving), causing the home owner to incur more heating bills in the winter and cooling bills in the summer.

Ever since we had the energy audit back in the fall of 2007 (of which we have written many articles – see our ECOENERGY page), we became informed that there a massive amount of cold air entering the house from the outside via the electrical panel in the basement. Did we do anything about it? No. I procrastinated.

Then I went to a local energy conservation fair back on the end of February where all visitors received a free home energy conservation kit, including two rolls of weather stripping. I knew exactly what I was going to use those two rolls of weather stripping on; that’s right, the cabinet enclosure for the electrical panel in the basement.

Fast forward three weeks later. Had I applied the weather stripping? No. Well, not until today. Today I got of my you-know-what and got busy.

OK, let’s start with the cabinet enclosure for the electric panel pictured below. Actually, the prior owners of our house did a nice job we think.

 electric panel enclosure with no weather stripping Weather Stripping   Better Late Than...   Part 1

Now, my first thought was to place the weather stripping along the inside frame. So, I proceeded to apply a strip along the horizontal bottom area. I then proceeded to place my next strip along the horizontal lower area of one of the two cabinet doors.

What I noticed was that the depth of the weather stripping was such that it did not fill the space between the frame and the doors. If you look closely at the strip on the right you can see that there would remain part of the ridge through which the cold air would freely enter, thus making the weather strip useless unless I applied one strip on top of the other.

 initial weather strips Weather Stripping   Better Late Than...   Part 1

So, I had another idea. Why not just put the weather stripping on the doors themselves? Since part of each door was against the wooden frame of the enclosure, if I applied that approach I should be successful. All I had to do was to ensure that I did not leave any gaps to allow the cold air from the outside enter the house (in the winter).

So, I proceeded to do just that. I removed the weather strip from the enclosure frame and instead applied weather stripping against the inside of both doors.

 initial weather strips Weather Stripping   Better Late Than...   Part 1

I ensured that the weather stripping was positions such that both doors would close flush onto the enclosure frame yet would not let any air out.

However, even doing that I noticed that the door on the right did not close flush. And, it did not have anything to do with the weather stripping; rather, it was the construction of the frame, we were still pretty cautious about any construction accidents that may happened. Compare the first picture to the second to see the difference between when a door closes flush against the frame vs when it does not.

upper right door ajar weather stripps added Weather Stripping   Better Late Than...   Part 1

upper left door flush after weather strips added Weather Stripping   Better Late Than...   Part 1

If the door would not close flush, then the weather strips will not prevent the incoming cold air from entering the house in the winter. I also noticed that there was a gap between the two doors. In tomorrow’s article I will address how I approached both of those situations.

To continue to the second part of our article on weather stripping the electric panel cabinet, simply select this link to Part 2.

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