Ever since I got my Laser Egg in 2015, I’ve been a little obsessed with the pollution levels inside my apartment. When we moved to our current apartment over the summer I was thrilled to see that on a “good” day of between 100-200, the Laser Egg would routinely read 4-16 US AQI in all rooms of our apartment. I was not thrilled to see that my living room filters struggled to keep up when it got above 200 outside. After some investigation with the Laser Egg, I found leaks at both patio doors and the main apartment door. We sealed the living room patio door with packing tape, but we need to access the kitchen patio on a regular basis, so sealing it for the winter wasn’t an option. I ended up putting a towel across the threshold to cut down on the pollution. It helped quite a bit. Until today we have been putting a long towel down to block the airflow of the front door, but it gets moved easily and is difficult to fit snugly against the door.
My family is visiting us and in the midst of reorganization projects, I realized that I had a long amount of spare fabric from an unfortunate purchase at Muxiyuan. My mother-in-law helped me measure and plan out a draft stopper. We measured the fabric against the door and decided to make it 3-4 cm wider than the door on both sides. Then we folded it over and tried to determine how big we wanted it once it was filled with rice. I measured it and marked the fabric down the length of it to make a guide-line for sewing. Folded, it was about 10 cm from the fold to the guide-line, making it roughly 20 cm in circumference. My MIL then put a few tack stitches in down the length of the fabric so it wouldn’t come unfolded at the tailors. The kitchen door one was a bit tricky, but we managed to get one to the right length after leaving about 2.5 cm length in extra fabric to allow us to sew.
I explained to my ayi what we wanted done, and she went off to the market to buy rice and have the tailor sew it. Our intention was to fill it and sew it shut when she got back, but she came back it was completely done. We put them in front of the doors and put the Laser egg down to test. I’m pretty pleased with the results!
I don’t remember how much I paid for the fabric years ago, but the sewing was 5 RMB and the rice was around 30 RMB for enough to fill both tubes. Well worth the cost as I’m currently typing this in an apartment with 37 US AQI when it is 420 outside!
For those less craftily minded, Taobao finally has a draft blocker available. Search in English for “Twin Draft Guard dust door stop” and there are several options that come up. They are only 90 cm wide, so it wouldn’t have worked as well for my door that is about a meter wide.