Sealing gaps around doors and windows can make your home feel warmer — and save you 10% to 15% on your energy bills. But with so many different types of weatherstripping on hardware-store shelves, choosing the right one for a particular job can seem 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 (© Kristine Larsen)

© Kristine Larsen

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 (© W.J. Dennis & Co.)

© W.J. Dennis & Co.

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.

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Foam tape

Foam tape (© M-D Building Products)

© M-D Building Products

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.

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Door sweeps

Door sweeps (© M-D Building Products)

© M-D Building Products

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.

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Tubular rubber, vinyl or silicone

Tubular rubber (© Frost King)

© Frost King

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.