I’ve been relatively happy the first 2 years of living in Jakarta. I’ve gone from party girl to homebody (with the occasional dinner & drinks with friends, tennis nights and diplo parties). However the construction of a massive structure nearby has ruined my idyllic existence and days at home. I used to be able to keep the balcony door open and enjoy the breeze from my living room sofa. Now I can’t open any more windows and doors because of the noise and pollution. I never used to have asthma episodes in Manila or Jakarta, but now I constantly have to bring my inhaler. And what I thought of has being sick and weak was apparently being out of breath because of my asthma. Also my face is eternally puffy from the dust (I have to drink my allergy meds often), and we’ve spent on an expensive air purifier to use at night. Sadly it’s not enough. I noticed that despite getting wiped and mopped in the morning, the floor and other surfaces are dusty by the afternoon.
Horrible! Even if we suffer from the heat while closing all the windows and not getting fresh air – it’s still DUSTY!!! Can you imagine all the dustmites?!? GAAAAH. The last straw was in the past few weeks, we’ve found so many frikkin’ insects!!! Centipedes, roaches and bugs! Why is this happening now, when it never used to?! Could it be that the construction nearby has disturbed the homes of these insects and now they are trying to find new homes?
I’m horribly allergic to these dustmites! image via
So I decided to take action. I needed to make sure that all my windows are tightly sealed while they are closed to:
- keep dust, noise, heat and insects out
- keep the cool air-conditioned air. I noticed that the moment we turn off the AC here, it is immediately warm! I guess with the massive space between door frames and window frames, the cool air immediately escapes.
Note this doesn’t keep the noise and water out, only takes care of draughts and insects. I used this for our study since the windows there are not exposed to rain and we don’t have problems with noise there.
Seals out dirt, draft, moisture and noise. Initially I planned to use this in the bedroom, which is exposed to rain and moisture. It is also the one that you hear a lot of noise through. However one pack only covers one window and it’s not that cheap. It’s also a bit thick so I had difficulty closing the windows. So I decided to look for an alternative for the 2 other windows in the bedroom. I found this…
These are much cheaper per meter so I decided to use it for the rest. I used the white for doors with tiny gaps and brown to reinforce the black rubber around the living room windows.
They also keep the air cold and the air-conditioning has to work less. So it definitely saves us on our electric bill. When the room is cold we can put the setting on automatic and it remains cold. Without these draft guards it gets warm immediately.
UPDATE: I realize after more than a week of use, these are only good for windows that are shut most of the time, but for doors that are continuously opened and shut throughout the day, it gets shredded if the space is too tight. I would recommend the pile seal instead.
I have one door that has especially wide gaps and the balcony door, which I think lets in the most dust. For these two I used this.
It wasn’t easy and there was much sweating involved. You can’t use the same thing for all doors and windows because sometimes it just wont close. I had to redo several times and it could be frustrating. I’m not yet done with the following:
- Balcony doors, because we still have to do the opening and top. I also have to make a draught stopper for the bottom.
- Living room windows
- Main door
- Door to the kitchen
WHAT ABOUT THE DRAFT UNDER THE DOOR?
If the bottom of your door has a huge gap between the door and the floor, you can use a door draft stopper. I actually sewed my own and used rice inside. This is would not be okay in the Philippines because the rice will attract mice and roaches.
If you are permanent or your landlord doesn’t mind you attaching something to the door then and under door seal is a more permanent solution.
More work to be done! Did you find this post helpful? Any other tips for me? =)