Winterizing windows

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Winterizing Windows

How to Winterize Your Windows By Mary Sauer

Each year, when cooler weather is here to stay, it is important to consider the steps you can take to winterize your home. Even the smallest weaknesses, such as drafty windows, can negatively impact the energy efficiency of your home.

When you’re heating a home with inefficiencies, you’re wasting money. Since the cold air can easily make its way into your warm home, your heating system has to work harder to keep your home comfortable during the coldest months of the year. There is good news, though. If your windows are struggling to protect your home from extreme temperature changes, there are simple steps you can take to prepare them for the winter season, keeping your home warm and cozy throughout the season.

Consider Window Replacement

The first step in winterizing your windows is to consider if window replacement is a better option for your home. If your windows have become incredibly drafty or difficult to operate, it may be time to buy new windows. Typically, windows perform well for over ten years. But if your windows have passed the ten-year mark, installing new, energy-efficient windows may be a better investment than winterizing the windows you have.

Caulk Drafty Windows

If you’re only dealing with small drafts, caulking is an affordable and easy way to weatherproof your windows for the cold to come. Before applying a fresh layer of caulk, take the time to remove the old caulk using a putty knife. Once the old caulk is gone, thoroughly wipe away dust and dirt with a soapy cloth and dry well with a clean towel. Next, invest in exterior-grade caulk and a caulk gun, and apply in a smooth seal where the wall and window frame meet.

Replace Worn Out Draft Excluders

Typically, drafy excluders are used to create a seal around the sash of the window. But over time, these may wear out and need replacing. Purchase a draft exclusion kit appropriate for your specific windows and carefully apply according to package directions. The goal of replacing draft excluders is to create a tight seal in the space where the sash meets the freame, and (in the case of sliding sash windows) where upper and lower sash meet.

Purchase Thermal Window Treatments

Contrary to popular belief, the benefits of thermal windows treatments (solar reflective film etc) aren’t limited to the summer months. In fact, thermal window treatments have been found to reduce heating during the coldest months of the year.

Use heavy curtains or thermal linings

Thermal curtains block cold air from entering your home and warm heat from escaping through drafty windows. While new curtains can be a big investment, they will quickly pay for themselves by increasing the overall energy efficiency of your home.

No matter the time of year, it’s always a good idea to evaluate the efficiency of your home. This can be done on your own, by checking around sockets, doors, and windows for air leaks. Many local energy companies also offer an energy audit and will offer you a detailed report on how your home is performing. Each step you take to improve the efficiency of your home will save you money on utility bills and reduce the unnecessary energy consumption.

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