5 ways to stop drafty doors fast — seal air leaks with help from the experts

Learn how to stop drafty doors if you're feeling a chill

Front entryway with wooden bench
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Learn how to stop drafty doors as wintry chills hit their stride. If you live anywhere that gets icy, or live in an older home without extensive insulation, you will be feeling that unmistakable breeze sneaking in gaps under and around your front door. 

You know the one, it gives you shivers and bumps up your energy bill. Not ideal. Whilst a door draft stopper can prevent cold air from traveling through your home, our experts reveal all the other things you can do to keep  warm air locked in.

Plus, making your home more efficient overall is a great way to save on energy in a small space. It is, fortunately, one of those common home repairs well within reach, even for a complete beginner. 

How to stop drafty doors fast

Drafty door - Light showing through gaps around badly fitting wooden exterior door

(Image credit: Kay Roxby / Alamy Stock Photo)

Of course, in an ideal world, you would insulate your door to get rid of the cold drafts once and for all. That's not always possible, however, especially for people trying to renovate a rental, or those without a budget for professional insulation.

We spoke to home experts for their advice on how to stop air leaks around doors – without any specialist equipment. These quick fixes will make the perfect temporary solution to drafty doors – there's no reason why you can't use them all the time.

1. Invest in draft excluders

Grey draft ecluder in front of white door

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If the idea of DIY anything puts you off completely, then just get a draft excluder. Draft excluders can be an effective, immediate solution for drafty doors, but some are better than others, and you will have to move it out of the way every time you want to open the door.

Prices were correct at the time of publishing.

2. Install a door sweep

If you want a similar but less annoying solution, consider installing a door sweep. Jordan Fulmer, an expert in home renovation and house flipping at Momentum Property Solutions explains , "Homeowners can seal the bottom of their door by installing a door sweep with flexible tabs that press against the floor and prevent the intrusion of air. There is a variety of options available for door sweeps, including sweeps that are installed with screws and those that slip onto the bottom edge of the door."

You can pick up a pack of two door sweeps with bristles from Amazon for less than $10 for a budget-friendly solution.

3. Check door threshold covers

David Mason, an interior designer and the owner of The Knobs Company also points out the importance of "having the floor even with the threshold or putting in a threshold cover." 

Threshold covers, or cinch seam covers, are available from Amazon and can, at least temporarily resolve the issue of an uneven floor that's causing the draft gap under your door. Ultimately, though, evening out the floor may be a better long-term option.

4. Use foam tape

fitting self adhesive PVC foam draft excluder round a door opening to save heat

(Image credit: sciencephotos / Alamy Stock Photo)

Two words: foam tape. Nifty adhesive tape such as this black rubber foam table from Amazon, is cheap, easy to apply and really works as a quick fix for air leaks around doors. 

Volodymyr Barabakh, the Co-Founder and Project Director of residential building contractors Structural Beam, says, “Apply foam tape to either the edge of the door or the door frame. The reason this stuff is so good is that foam tape is thick enough, and the material in it is insulating enough to significantly reduce the amount of heat that is lost through ill-fitting doors."

You won't have trouble finding this easy-to-apply insulating material, either, with it usually available in pretty much any home store for as little as a couple of dollars per foot. What we really like about this solution is that it's self-adhesive, so you don't have to worry about messing around with glue. 

5. Install a draft snake

Mason has another solution for drafty doors — installing a draft snake along the bottom of the door. This can be made of foam or flexible insulation you wrap around the bottom edge of the door.

As far as home insulation options stand, this is not the best-looking solution, but it will do the job if it's urgent. You can grab  adhesive stripping from Amazon to do the trick.


What about a situation where you have a freak weather episode in an otherwise warm climate area?

You may not want or need to mess about with semi-permanent fixtures to your door. Justin Havre, a home improvement expert at Justin Havre & Associates Real Estate, has a genius solution, “If it's just a cold front blowing through a warm climate area, a rolled-up towel placed tightly beneath the door should suffice." In fact, any sheet of dense fabric, rolled up, will qualify as a temporary draft excluder, and will cost you exactly nothing. 

If you are feeling a bit crafty, you could make your own heavy-duty draft excluder. You will need a robust cloth (think thick cotton or even an old potato sack) and grain, such as dried peas or beans.

If you have a sewing machine, sew together a long sack, fill it with the grain, and sew it up. Voila, your hand-made drafty door solution. Note that some of these solutions may help with drafty windows also. It depends on the extent of the problem and on how much budget/time you have. 

Anna is a professional writer with many years of experience. She has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. She covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design.