How to Weatherproof Your Windows To Save Money This Winter

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snowy window
Image via Phil Gyford/Flickr

Winter is coming! With the potential of sub-zero temperatures, never-ending snowfall and last year’s polar vortex still haunting us, you must ask yourself, “Is my home ready?” If your windows aren’t weather-proofed for the winter, you need to start doing that immediately. We’re going to make sure your home’s energy efficiency improves this winter! Here’s what you need to do:

1. Check Your Windows for Drafts

First thing you’ll need to do is check your windows for leaks or drafts. There are several ways to check. The most obvious place to start is with a visual inspection. If you have a single pane window, look for damaged glazing. Glaze is used on the sash and glass to create an air-and-water-tight seal to prevent shrinking, cracking and sagging. Also check the perimeter and make sure the window is sealed tight.

For a more in-depth inspection, perform a flame test. All you need is a lighter or candle. Hold the flame close to the window and move it around. Closely check the area where the window meets the frame. If there is a draft coming through, you will see the flame flicker or wave.

2. Check for Gaps Outside

Don’t forget the exterior of your windows. Many issues are with the outside of the window. So if you only focus on the inside of your home, you may miss something. Just because you don’t see any gaps inside, doesn’t mean there aren’t any outside. Do a physical check around your home and make sure there aren’t any gaps in your casing.

3. Use Putty to Prevent Heat Loss with Single Pane Windows

Window putty is perfect for sealing gaps between a single pane window and its frame. This will limit the amount of heat that escapes from your single pane windows. While double pane windows are the superior energy efficient option, window putty will do an adequate job of keeping your home comfortable.

4. Take Advantage of Weather Stripping

A simple way to prevent drafts is installing weather stripping to your window. Weather stripping is a rubber insulator attached to the bottom of operating windows and doors to prevent air from escaping. Also, it isn’t expensive and very easy to install. If your old windows don’t currently have weather striping, you should purchase and install it as soon as possible and you’ll feel a difference right away.

5. Get Caulking

For bone-chilling winters, caulking your windows is absolutely essential. Caulk will lower your energy costs by protecting your home from the elements and trapping heat inside. Also, it creates a watertight seal preventing any water from leaking into your home and damaging walls. With the amount of snow that is expected this winter, you should start this project sooner rather than later. Check for any dried caulk or areas without any caulk, and address those right away.

6. Use Window Film as a Short-Term Solution

Window film is a short-term solution to keep your home warm during the winter. It’s a plastic coating that can be blow dried to your window to create a temporary barrier.  While it won’t last forever, it will provide short-term protection from the cold.  If you are going to use window film, we recommend looking for a more permanent solution for the future.

7. Replace Your Windows, If Necessary

If your draft isn’t fixed with any of the above solutions, it is time for replacement windows. If you choose the proper windows and they are installed by a professional instillation team, you will reap the benefits immediately.

Proper Installation is Key!

When getting replacement windows you’ll need to make sure they are installed properly. A poorly installed window will lead to many cold and frustrating winters. Precisely measuring your windows to avoid gaps between them and their frame is crucial for improving your home’s energy efficiency. The best way to avoid any gaps is to have a reputable professional installation team install your windows correctly.

8. Invest in Argon Gas Windows

To maximize the energy efficiency and insulation of your home, you should try Argon gas windows. These windows are double or triple paned and filled with Argon gas. They prevent heat from escaping your home, and will decrease your heating bill because your furnace won’t have to work as hard to meet your desired temperature.  Sounds like a recipe for a warm, comfortable winter.

You now have the knowledge to prevent your home from becoming a frozen nightmare this winter. You can improve your home’s energy efficiency by weatherproofing your home for the winter. Not only will your home feel warmer, but you will save move on your heating bills in the process. Don’t let your family freeze this holiday season – check your windows immediately and stay warm!

Note: This is a guest post; the views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Redfin.

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Dave Cook is the Feldco Windows, Siding and Doors spokesperson. He has also served many roles in the organization. From Project Manager to Sales Manager, Dave can do it all.

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