6 Ways to Winter Seal a Door to Stay Warm and Save Energy

Susan McCullah
Written by Susan McCullah
Updated March 30, 2022
A house’s blue front entrance door
Photo: ChrisAt / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Get a jump on your winter door drafts 

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

Are you huddling under blankets to keep warm because cold air is seeping through your drafty door? That’s no way to live, especially during the winter. 

If cold air leaking indoors through your exterior door interferes with your quest for coziness, use these can’t-go-wrong winter door-sealing tips to keep you snug and save on energy costs.

1. Add Insulation Behind Your Door Trim

If you’re feeling a draft coming through your door, the builder may not have added enough insulation when it was built. To find out, remove one side of the door casing and visually inspect whether there’s insulation present. If not, remove the rest of the casing and add spray foam insulation to the space. Make sure you purchase foam made especially for doors and windows, or it could expand too much and damage your frame. 

Allow the insulation to dry overnight, scrape off the excess insulation so it’s even with your sheetrock, and then put your door casing back on. You will most likely see an instant improvement in your home’s heat retention. You’ll notice the difference on next month’s energy bill, too. 

2. Caulk the Holes Around Your Door Frame

A simple tube of caulk can be the difference between having a toasty house and dealing with an annoying cold draft once winter weather hits. You can use caulk around your front door, sliding glass door, and french doors to create a strong barrier against cold weather. 

Apply caulk around your exterior doors, taking special care to fill the visible gaps and cracks. Let it dry overnight and re-caulk if you still see openings between your door and the frame. If you have leftover caulk, move on to your drafty windows for good measure.

3. Attach a Door Sweep

A door sweep is a mechanism made of hard rubber with thick bristles on the bottom that attaches to the bottom of your door. It’s a fairly inexpensive way to stop cold air from ruining your cozy winter vibes. 

Purchase a door sweep and attach it to the inside-bottom of the door using a drill and screwdriver. It should fit snugly between your door and floor, but it shouldn’t scrape the floor because that could cause damage and block our cold air drafts.

4. Install Weatherstripping to Seal Gaps

A woman weatherstripping a door
Photo: AvailableLight / E+ / Getty Images

If you detect large gaps around your door’s bottom and sides, weatherstripping may be your best option for stopping the cold draft. 

There are different types of weatherstripping, including foam, rubber, vinyl, and felt, to name a few. You can purchase weatherstripping at any hardware or big-box store, and it typically comes in rolls. Before making your purchase, measure the gaps around your doors to determine what thickness of weatherstripping you need. 

The first step of installation is to measure your door. Then, cut the size piece of weatherstripping based on your door’s dimensions and carefully apply it along the entire length of your door. Once it’s in place, open and close your door a few times to ensure that, even though the fit is snug, you don’t have problems with the door sticking. 

5. Slide a Draft Guard on Your Door Bottom

Draft guards, also known as door snakes, are cold-weather life hacks to stop air leaks around your door bottom. This mechanism is a fabric-covered tube of insulation that fits around your door. You can either purchase a draft guard or, if you can sew, make one by stitching a piece of material that runs the length of your door and filling it with insulation.

Whether you decide to buy or DIY, fit your door snake underneath your door so each side is tucked closely to the door. This trick will instantly seal drafty gaps, keeping warm air in and cold air out. 

6. Keep Your Door Locked

This final winter door-sealing tip doesn’t cost money—only a second of your time. While locking your door is common sense for safety reasons, it can also help block out cold drafts. Your door’s lock pulls it more tightly into the frame, creating an air-sealing barrier to the outside weather. Get in the habit of turning your deadbolt every time you use your door to help minimize energy loss and maintain a comfortably warm interior.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.