How To Stop Air From Leaking Around a Door

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante

It can be quite frustrating when warm air leaves your home and cold air leaks in. This can add a small fortune to your energy bills and simply make your house feel uncomfortable. Countless homeowners struggle with how to stop air from leaking around a door.

Use weather stripping and a door sweep to stop air from leaking around a door. Replace the worn caulk if air keeps leaking around the door and put a draft stopper at the bottom. Neoprene strips are also a great way to stop air leaks in your door because they are made of durable, temperature-resistant rubber.

Measure your door and replace it if the gap underneath is too wide. That is your only option if the problem continues, and it’s worth the cost. Follow along as we explore how to stop air from leaking around a door.

How Do I Stop Air From Coming Around My Door?

You can stop air from leaking around a door with everything from neoprene strips to weather stripping. In extreme cases, you may even need to replace your door altogether. Let’s take a look at the best ways to stop air from leaking around a door.

1. Neoprene Strips

A neoprene strip is a type of rubber door sweep that can stop air from leaking around a door. You can use neoprene strips at the bottom or side of your door. They are durable, as they are made of rubber and are easy to adjust.

Neoprene can also withstand extreme hot and cold temperatures, so you don’t have to worry when the seasons change. You can buy a roll of neoprene that you can cut into strips for just $12. That is the best option so that you can fit the neoprene to your door’s dimensions to stop air from leaking.

2. Weather stripping

Much like neoprene, weather stripping is an easy and reliable way to stop air from leaking around a door. You can install weather stripping at the bottom of your door and along the jamb. This is a great way to block cold air, prevent temperature loss, and keep pests out of your home.

The only downside to weather stripping is that it isn’t quite as durable as neoprene. However, you can get increased durability if you choose silicone or rubber weather stripping. Foam weather stripping is cheap and easy to install, but it isn’t very strong.

3. Draft Stopper

Draft stoppers are the easiest and most convenient way to stop air from leaking around a door. They can block noise, pests, and air, which is a great value for only $10-$15. Most draft stoppers simply sit in front of one side of your door.

However, some of them slide under the bottom of your door and cover the opening under each side. That won’t work with each type of door, so weather stripping may be a better option for you if you need to protect the exterior.

4. Caulk

There is a good chance that your caulk is worn and damaged if air leaks through your door. Inspect the caulk along your door and remove it if it is damaged. Use a putty knife to scrape away the worn caulk so that you can replace it.

Clean the surface where there used to be caulk, so that the new layer will lay evenly. Use a caulk gun to apply the caulk carefully and evenly along your door jamb. You can also repeat this process for your windows if air leaks around them as well. It takes up to 24 hours for the caulk to cure.

5. Door Sweep

Door sweeps are a simple and affordable way to prevent air leaks. There are 11 main types of door sweeps, but brush sweeps are among the cheapest and most common. Much like draft stoppers, door sweeps are fitted to the bottom of your door to block air.

They are just as useful for noise and pest prevention as they are for stopping thermal loss. Automatic door sweeps are the most reliable and advanced option, but they can cost over $50. However, it’s worth the cost for the convenience and performance.

6. Foam Tape

Foam tape may not sound like much, but it can work wonders to block your door’s airflow. This simple solution only costs $10 per roll and it is easy to apply. You can easily apply it to your door frame to stop air from leaking.

This solution doesn’t help if your air leak is at the bottom of your door, however, you can use it in conjunction with a draft stopper or neoprene strips.

7. Adhesive-Backed Felt

Adhesive-backed felt works the same way as weather stripping. You simply peel a strip from the back of the felt and stick it to your door jamb or underneath the door. It only lasts for 2-3 years, but it’s a great temporary solution when air leaks from your door.

A roll of adhesive-backed felt only costs $5-$10 and it’s a great option if you are on a tight budget. Measure your door and frame before you cut the strips so that they match the dimensions.

8. Door Snake

A door snake is a tube-shaped solution to air leaking from underneath your door. Snakes are weighted, so you don’t have to worry about them moving when you open or close the door. They only cost between $10 and $15, and you don’t have to worry about them breaking down.

You can even find decorative door snakes which is useful if you are apprehensive about their appearance. Otherwise, you can decorate your door snake with plush toys or even fake flowers to add some character.

9. Towel

You may only need something as simple as a towel to stop air from leaking around a door. While this isn’t the most visually appealing solution, it’s a great temporary fix. Simply roll up a towel and place it against the bottom of your door when it’s shut.

The downside to this solution is that you’ll likely need to put the towel back in place each time you open or close the door. However, you can work around this if you apply adhesive tape or strips to the towel and stick it to your door. This is a great option if you are waiting to replace your door or buy nice weather stripping.

10. Replace Your Door

Sometimes, not even a door sweep or a good weather stripping installation is enough. It’s hard to stop air from leaking around a door if the measurements are off. This is especially true if you have an older home, and you haven’t replaced the door since buying the house.

Doors can shrink and warp due to weather conditions such as humidity, rain, and temperature changes. When you replace your door, you can also use weather stripping and a door sweep to get the best results. Otherwise, you can simply choose a door that fits your doorway and home like a glove so that you don’t have to worry about air leaking.

Why Is My Door Leaking Air?

Your door is likely leaking air because the caulk is worn, or it is the wrong size. A door that is too short vertically or horizontally will let air both enter and escape your home. Over time, the caulk and weather stripping on your door can wear down due to usage, temperature fluctuations, and humidity.

Ideally, you should inspect and replace your door’s caulk every 5 years. You may need to replace it sooner if you live in a hot and humid climate. However, you should check your door caulk after 12 months if you recently installed it because that’s how long it takes to settle.

Do Air Leaks Increase Your Bills?

Air leaks increase your bills and can make your home feel uncomfortable. Your bills can cost up to 40% more if your doors and windows are leaking. On the low end, you can expect at least a 20% increase in your energy bill.

This is especially true if your door leaks while you are running the furnace during the winter. It typically costs more to run your furnace than your air conditioner. Your furnace will have to work harder to keep your house warm if hot air leaves and cold air enters through the door.

Summing It Up

Neoprene strips and weather stripping are the best ways to stop air from leaking around a door. Draft stoppers can also keep air out and stop warm air from leaving your home. Automatic door sweeps cost $50 or more but they are effective and easy to install.

Remove old worn and damaged caulk if air continues to leak around your door. Replace it with a layer of fresh caulk and let it cure for up to 24 hours. Otherwise, you should measure the frame and replace your door if air keeps leaking around it.

Related Guides

Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

More by Nick Durante