50-Dollar Freeze Fix

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Freezing weather moving into Region 8 is a big concern for any family looking to stay warm and save money. Fortunately, you can heat your home and save money at the same time. A few simple items, which can be installed in minutes, can keep the cold draft out of your home.

"This is a fairly inexpensive fix. You're talking about $2.25. It'll last a season," said Dennis Hill with Barton's Lumber Company.

Hill said weather stripping and foam tape are perfect for sealing cracks between doors and windows. That's where a major amount of heat is lost. Keeping that heat inside the home will save money on heating expenses.

"You can use foam tape between the door and the frame and that keeps the door tight against the frame and keeps the wind from coming through there," said Hill.

"You can use what's called a jam up weather strip which is a permanent fix. It has a piece of metal with a foam bulb on it, and the door presses against the bulb and keeps the wind from whistling through the door," said Hill.

Hill said these items are fairly cheap. For only a few dollars, you could tape the frames of your doors and windows. The downside, however, is that the fix is only temporary, lasting one winter.

According to Hill, the best thing to use to seal cracks between the window and the frame is caulk.

"Of course you've got the old standby. You've got acrylic latex caulk. You do not want to apply this when it's freezing. You need to do it above freezing," said Hill.

Latex caulk, in Hill's opinion, doesn't do nearly as good a job as foam spray, which expands inside the cavities of cracks.

"It's economical but it does a good job. Seals it well. This will seal as well, if not better, than the caulk will," said Hill.

"This spray foam, this actually will spray into the cavities and will expand and then you can go back after it dries and you can peel it down or trim it," said Hill.

Region 8 News wanted to see what we could buy for an average sized home with 8 windows and 3 doors. Using $50, we were able to purchase all the items needed to temporarily winterize a home. In all, we bought 8 window kits, 3 weather strips, one roll of 10x20 foot plastic and 2 cans of expanded foam.

Hill said, depending on your situation, buying temporary fixes will help you this winter, but more expensive items last several years.

"This will last several seasons. You put this up. You could probably have it for three or four years before it has to be replaced," said Hill.

Perhaps the most important thing to check before the temperatures drop is pipes, which could burst, costing thousands of dollars in repairs.

"If you've got an exposed pipe near the outside of the wall you really need this, it will save mega bucks when you're talking about having to fix busted pipes during the winter time," said Hill.

"If they are close to the outside perimeter of the house, they need to be able to cover those pipes so that they don't break and cause considerable expense," said Hill.