Are your heating bills going through the roof? Protecting your windows from the cold weather is one of the best ways to save on energy and to keep your home warm and cozy all season long. Follow the tips below to prevent air leaks in your home and to optimize your windows for the frigid winter weather.
Swap Out Your Curtains
Are you still using sheers as curtains in the winter? Lightweight materials like sheer cotton, lace, and linen are not heavy enough to block out the cold air from seeping into your room. Come winter, you should swap these out for insulated curtains that have a number of layers that work to stop chilly air from entering. These energy-efficient curtains also come with a reflective film layer that can deflect heat back in the room, preventing the warm air from escaping outside.
Replace the Weatherstripping
When you have drafty windows, your HVAC system goes into overdrive to keep the temperature at a comfortable setting, driving up your energy bills in response. One way to stop these air leaks is by replacing any faulty weatherstripping around your windows. To find areas that have worn out weatherstripping, simply light an incense stick and move it around the edges of your window frames. If the smoke is sucked out or blown into the room, it’s a sign that there’s a draft in that spot. Replace any worn out weatherstripping in this area with a new piece to protect your home from air leaks and increase your overall comfort.
Caulk Your Window Seals
Gaps and cracks around the window and sash can let in cold air that can jack up your energy bills. To prevent air leakage, you need a proper seal around your window frame. Store-bought caulking material can seal off any cracks and create a waterproof sealant around your window. Just remember, if you already have caulk present, you’ll first need to remove the old material first with a putty knife and repair any debris or rotted wood around the window before applying any new caulk with a caulking gun. The caulk should also be allowed to dry for at least 24 hours to fully harden and create a durable seal.
Put Foam in the Frames
If you’ve got big gaps larger than 2 inches, caulk likely won’t be enough to seal it. For larger projects like this, you need a spray foam that will expand and fill in all the void areas. Window and door gap filler is also flexible so that it will expand and contract when the temperatures change, ensuring no further damage is done to your window frame.
Purchase a Draft Stopper
The windowsills are another area where cold air can enter your home. Often a towel won’t do much to keep the air from seeping in, so it’s best to buy a draft stopper or draft snake from your department store. You can find both fabric and plastic models that will keep heavy drafts out without affecting the aesthetics of your window.
Add Plastic Film
If you have poor performing single-pane windows, you can block out the passage of air by applying a plastic insulating film over your entire window. Plastic film is inexpensive and very easy to install and remove. It’s also about as equivalent of adding an extra pane of glass to your window.
Replace Any Windows with Cracks
Do you have cracks in your windowpanes? The cold weather can cause them to expand and crack even further. Add on extra pressure from snow and wind and the glass can shatter altogether. If you have any cracks call a window repairman to patch it or replace the pane entirely.
Install Storm Windows
Those who live in an area that receives sub-freezing temperatures like Ottawa and Edmonton can really benefit from an extra layer of protection like a storm window. These types of windows are usually installed on top of your existing windows to provide extra wind protection and weather insulation.
Upgrade to Energy Efficient Windows
You can save yourself a ton of money and the hassle of repairing, maintaining, and sealing off your drafty windows by replacing them with new energy-efficient ones. The window materials available today are far more advanced than the materials in the past, providing homeowners with superior insulation from cold winter weather. The result – year-round comfort, lower energy bills, and less repair and maintenance work.
Are you ready to upgrade your windows to the most energy-efficient models on the market? M&T Glass offers high-quality materials that have a high ROI and can save you up to 50% per year on your energy bills. If you’re ready to start saving, find out more about our window options today!