Weatherizing Your Windows

by Rachel Laurendeau on November 29, 2012

If you’re looking for ways to keep your house warm this winter while saving energy and keeping costs low, read on. We’ve put together a few home improvement ideas to help you get the best performance out of your windows this season.

Drafty windows and doors are a major source of heat loss in American homes, according to the Department of Energy. Replacing old windows with modern, energy efficient new windows can improve your home’s energy efficiency, air tightness and insulating values. While window replacement can create a more comfortable home environment, it is a major home improvement and a substantial investment to change all of your windows.

If your current windows do not need to be replaced, just improved or weatherized/winterized, consider the following do-it-yourself approaches:

• Open blinds and other window coverings during the day to allow passive heat gain. This is particularly effective on windows that receive direct sunlight, typically on the south side of the house. At night, close all of the window coverings over the cold glass.

• Invest in quilted curtains and hang from your existing curtain rods to block drafts. There are also thermal cellular shades on the market with one to three layers of honeycomb fabric that acts as an insulator; these shades are touted as increasing the window’s R-value.

• Adding storm windows over single-pane windows dramatically reduces heat loss and drafts. This is a very cost-effective way to improve your current windows. Modern storm windows are typically installed on the inside of your window, can be used year-round and some even have a low-E coating to make them even more efficient.

• Applying caulking, expanding foam sealant or weatherstripping is an extremely cost-effective approach to improving leaky windows. There are lots of easy to follow DIY instructions for applying caulking, foam and weatherstripping on the internet, including some useful videos to watch before you start.

Every small step that you take counts when it comes to readying your home for winter and improving your energy savings. Talk to your local home improvement or window expert if you need more information for winterizing your home.

Resources: Family Handyman; Efficient Windows Collaborative

Related blog articles: Does Your Home Need Replacement Windows, Top 10 Tips To Save You Energy This Winter, Clearing Up New Window Terminology

How do you save energy around your house in the winter? Leave us your tips in the comments section below.

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