To keep cold weather out, your home comfortable and energy bills down, it is important that your homes’ windows are functioning at maximum capacity. You can help by performing minor maintenance and/or applying add-ons that do not require the hiring of a professional. Here are a few things you can do to improve your windows efficiency to keep freezing air outside and your home warm.
Window Film is a self adhesive film applied to a windows’ glass surface which will help reduce heat transfer. For DIYer’s window film can be found at Home Depot, Lowes or your local window store and tend to range in price from roughly $4-$15 per square foot (windowfilmdepot.com) In winter, window film is said to “retain up to 55% of heat in your home” (lowes.com).
While proper window installation includes the application of caulk to windows, reapplication may be necessary for older units. To find if reapplication is necessary, check around the unit frame for cracks and spaces in caulk. Begin repair by first removing existing caulk from the frame exterior, then clean and dry in preparation for re application. Silicone caulk is preferable to latex, as it tends to hold up better in extreme temperatures. Apply caulk within the gaps from where the caulk had been removed. Cleanup can be performed with the use of mineral spirits. One tube of sealant generally runs between $3-$10 and can be found at your local Home Depot, Lowes or hardware store.
Over time weatherstripping may experience wear and require replacement. Self-stick weatherstripping come in a variety of non-rigid materials such as foam, vinyl, felt or sponge rubber and contain an adhesive backing which is ideal for easy installation. In order to determine how much weatherstripping is needed, measure the perimeter of the window or door to be weatherstripped then add 5% to 10% to account needed extra. The cost of self adhesive weatherstripping starts at $3 and will ultimately depend on the length required.
Interior Storm Windows
Interior storm windows are placed on interior of existing windows in place of a windows screen to act as an additional barrier to the outside elements. These are ideal for older windows not quite ready for replacement but in need of extra insulation. Storm windows can reduce heat loss of up to 50% making it an ideal add on in the colder months. The average cost of interior storm windows starts at roughly $100 and more depending in the window size and type.
Heavy window treatments help to provide extra insulation by blocking drafts. Cellular shades are built with folds of fabric which are ideal for insulating drafty windows. As an alternate to heavy curtains, layered curtains will deliver the same affect and assist in blocking cold air leak from entering the home.
As you can see a few small changes can go a long way at an affordable price. For windows of all conditions, with or without noticeable air leakage, these small improvements can go a long way in saving money in energy bills and keeping homes comfortable during winter months.