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The Essential Guide To Weatherstripping
May 08, 2018

Sealing gaps around doors and windows can make your home feel warmer—and save you 10 to 15 percent on your energy bills. But with so many different types of weatherstripping lining shelves at the hardware store, choosing the right one for a particular job can feel like a guessing game. To help, we've broken down the most common options by material and profile so that you'll know just what to install to chase away the chill.

V Strip (Tension Seal)


V strip, also known as tension seal, is a durable plastic or metal strip folded into a 'V' shape that springs open to bridge gaps.

Where It Goes
Along the sides of a double-hung or sliding window; on the top and sides of a door.

How to Install It
Cut to desired length with scissors, then peel and stick, or install with finishing nails.


Felt is sold in rolls, either plain or reinforced with a pliable metal strip. Though inexpensive, it usually lasts only a year or two.

Where It Goes
Around a door or window sash; in the door's jamb so that it compresses against the door.

How to Install It
Cut to desired length with a utility knife, then staple or nail in place.

Foam Tape

Foam tape is made from open or closed-cell foam, or EPDM rubber with a sticky back. It's sold in varying widths and thicknesses, which makes it best for irregular-size cracks.

Where It Goes
Top and bottom of window sashes; inside door frames.

How to Install It
Cut to length, and adhere where needed.

Door Sweeps


Door sweeps are flat pieces of plastic, aluminum, or stainless steel fitted with a strip of nylon, plastic, or vinyl or a sponge brush to fill the space between door and threshold.

Where It Goes
Along the bottom of the interior side of a door.

How to Install It
Cut to your door's width if needed, and install with screws.

Tubular Rubber, Vinyl, or Silicone

Tubular rubber, vinyl, or silicone is an effective air barrier; versions made of a narrow sponge rubber or vinyl tubing come attached to a wood or metal mounting strip. Silicone types are usually inserted into milled grooves.

Where It Goes
At the base of doors and windows; top or bottom of a window sash; bottom of a door; between a door and its jamb.

How to Install It
Peel and stick, or fasten with screws through slot holes; silicone seals are pressed into a channel you create with a router.