In many homes, the windows are a significant source of energy loss that can drive up heating and cooling bills while unnecessarily wasting energy. Older windows are particularly susceptible to air leaks and problems that can reduce energy efficiency. One of the best ways to beat these problems is to weatherize windows throughout your house.
Since windows are a major source of energy-related problems, it makes sense to concentrate on them when you’re undertaking home projects designed to improve energy efficiency and cut your monthly costs. If you weatherize windows in the following ways, you’ll see almost immediate positive results.
The most common cause of energy loss around windows is cracks, gaps, holes and other openings that let conditioned indoor air escape and outdoor air in. The feeling of a cold draft coming from a window is the direct result of an ineffective seal. Poor seals can occur around the panes of glass in the window, the window frame and the casing of the window itself. Any openings around the casing should be sealed with caulking to block drafts and keep indoor air inside. Glass panes can be sealed with clear caulking to get the same effect.
Foam or rubber weatherstripping can be applied around the edges of the window frame to create an airtight seal that should effectively weatherize windows. Most weatherstripping has a strip of adhesive on one side to make application easier. Make sure the window can still move normally after applying weatherstripping of this type. V-seal weatherstripping or rope caulk along the window sashes is also an effective solution.
Apply Shrink Film
Shrink film is a thin plastic film that can be applied to help seal and weatherize windows. When heat is applied to the film, it shrinks into place, creating a tight seal that keeps out drafts. It’s installed using double-sided tape and can be shrunk using the heat from a standard hair dryer.
Use Draft Blockers
Draft blockers such as draft snakes consist of a cloth tube filled with foam or another insulating material. They can usually be trimmed to size to fit your windows. These items are simply placed at the bottom of a window and tamped into place to create a draft-stopping seal. They’re easily removed and put in place again when needed.
Use Insulated Curtains
Insulated curtains provide a barrier over windows that helps keep temperatures consistent and prevents cold or heat from the outdoors from getting into your home. The side facing the window usually has a high-density foam layer that blocks heat transfer. The outer decorative parts can be just as appealing as any other type of curtain.
Repair or Replace Cracked Panes
Cracked panes that let air in and out should be replaced. If you don’t want to do this yourself, your local hardware store or window store should be able to cut and replace the glass. If the cracks are small, you can seal them using clear nail polish.
Install Storm Windows
Storm windows can form an effective barrier against energy loss, so consider putting them back in during the fall. They will help block cold drafts during the cooler months. You can also install interior storm panels that press in place and fulfill a similar function.
Replace if Necessary
Sometimes the condition of your windows can be so bad that these techniques might not be effective. If your windows are old, significantly damaged or otherwise too far gone to be effective, you should have them replaced. New windows will be much better insulated and have tight seals that stop air leaks. You can also get replacement windows with energy-saving characteristics such as low-e glass or double-pane insulated construction.
For more information on how to weatherize windows and how this will help boost home energy efficiency, check out Davis Air Conditioning and Heating’s energy efficiency solutions or call 888-710-5530 in the greater Houston area or 888-929-0049 in Brazoria County.
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