Summer has come to an end and the first hints of Fall are in the air. While the cooler temperatures feel good at the beginning of the season, they’ll soon drop to uncomfortable levels as Winter approaches. This is the perfect time of the year to start thinking about winterizing your home so you and your family stay cozy warm. One of the first, and most important areas to begin preparing for the cold weather is your windows. By employing some simple strategies, you can reduce cold drafts, maintain interior temperatures and even reduce your heat related energy use.
Insulated Window Coverings
Dressing your windows with insulated window coverings is one of the simplest ways to prepare them for cold weather. This might bring to mind images of heavy drapes that darken the room, hung high upon the window frame. Although drapes are one option, they are by no means the only option for insulated window coverings. You can also install cellular shades that offer an incredible amount insulation, in both hot and cold climates. A variety of blinds are also available that can be applied under draperies, or alone. What’s more, the types of materials, colors, patterns and sizes available are limited only by your imagination since most are custom made to your specs.
Repair or Replace
A key factor in any window’s performance is how well it has been maintained. If your windows are broken or if the panes of glass rattle in the frames, it’s time to consider replacements. This is especially the case in older homes that have single pane, wood frame windows. While these original windows look great, they’re not well insulated, meaning that heat loss is inevitable. Newer, double pane vinyl windows often have gas between the panes that helps to repel heat and cold, thus offering a higher insulation value.
Take a good look at your windows and doors, and pay close attention to how tight they close. Are you noticing small spaces that are allowing air to flow in, or out, of your home? Check the point where the two portions of the window meet and look for an obvious gap. Any areas around your windows that do not seal properly should be treated with a simple weather striping. This easy to find, inexpensive material is applied by peeling and sticking, and can be cut with a pair of scissors. Be sure to treat all of your exterior doors in the same manner to assure they’re sealed tightly.
Calking and Sealing
One of the easiest things to overlook when it comes to your windows is the seal that is formed on the exterior of your home. This is where the window sill and frame attach and it’s a prime location for air leaks to occur. Take the time to fill in any gaps around the exterior of your windows with a silicone calk and be sure to check the entire perimeter of the window. Continue this treatment around the doorways as well. This is also a good time to seal up other areas of your home such as water and gas line entry points and any other holes or openings that you find.
Sometimes, you simply cannot replace the existing windows in your home because it’s a rental, or it may be too expensive. You can still do a few things to assure your windows won’t let you down this Winter. You could install plastic sheeting to the insides of the windows which creates a dead air space, thus increasing the window’s insulation value. Kits are available at a variety of locations such as hardware stores, national department stores and big box stores. The best part is they’re fairly inexpensive, and they’re surprisingly effective. What’s more, they’re incredibly easy to install and can be used on any size or type of window.
We hope you enjoy the beautiful Fall weather that’s on the way, but don’t get too comfortable, Winter is not far behind. If you’d like to learn more about winterizing your home, and preparing your windows for colder weather, please contact us. Our experts welcome the opportunity to help you find ways to keep your home comfortable for you and your loved ones.