With winter just on the horizon, certain steps should be taken to protect your home from the winter chill. One of the best things that any homeowner can do to keep the cold air out, however, is to take a close look at their windows. Of all of the areas of a home, your windows are the most likely sources for winter draftiness. What can you do to keep the cold air out and the warm air in? We have a few ideas.
Weather Seal Drafty Windows There are many types of weather sealing materials available on the market today, each with advantages and disadvantages. Some do-it-yourselfers use a sheet of plastic, taped to the inside wall around the window. While this is an easy to apply and fairly effective solution, it is also not terribly attractive and makes access to the window impossible during the window without removing the plastic. However, if you do not own your home, this may be your only viable option.
Weather stripping is the alternative, and different weather stripping is comprised of different materials. Felt, plastic, foam and rubber weather stripping are all available. Felt is the easiest to install, but does not last as long as other varieties. On the other hand, plastic v-seal weather stripping is highly resilient but more difficult to install.
Replace the Caulking Replacing the caulking is another step to minimize drafts from the windows. Caulking is an external component applied to the small void between the window and the structural components of the home. Over time, this caulking ages and can crack, allowing air to pass through. Removing old caulking and replacing it with a fresh bead can go a long way to preventing drafty windows.
Replace the Window This is a more drastic solution, but it could be necessary depending on the window that you already have. Double pane windows are better insulated from the cold than single pane windows, so if your home currently is equipped with the single pane variety, you might consider vinyl replacement windows in order to save on energy costs. These windows are set in sturdy vinyl, and double pane varieties are available to keep even more cold air out. Some newer models of window feature triple pane glass if you are looking to maximize energy savings.
Preparing your house for winter is a big project, but you often find your biggest savings by winterizing your windows.