Whether you are ready for it or not, winter is just around the corner and with winter comes higher heating bills. As the winter approaches and you begin preparing yourself for the bitter cold, it's also time to prepare your home for the cold and one of the best places to start is with your windows. The largest amount of heat escapes from your home through the cracks and gaps around the windows. Here are a few tips to help you get your windows prepared for the upcoming winter season.
Replace Broken Glass
The first place to start is with replacing any cracked or missing glass panes. If you do have to replace any panes, it's best to go ahead and replace them with double-pane windows. If you are on a tight budget and need (or want) new windows, consider replacing them one room at time-it may not be a significant difference for the entire house, but it will allow you to have one room that isn't allowing the heat to escape.
Install Storm Windows
One of the main goals is to keep the drafts to a minimum, so if you have storm windows, now is the time to install them. When you are installing the storm windows, it's the perfect time to inspect the screens as you remove them. Examine each screen for damages, such as corners that may be peeling away, holes in the mesh or damages to the frame. If there are damages, go ahead and take them to a company that does residential screen repair-you'll be glad you took care of the problem now instead of next spring when there are pests getting in through the damaged screens.
Insulate the Windows
Whether you have storm windows or not adding an extra layer of "insulation" over the glass will help to keep the heat in and the cold out. There are a couple of different ways to cover the windows, such as purchasing a plastic window covering kit, which typically includes a thick panel of plastic that is either adhered to two-sided tape and heated in place or it is attached to the window trip with clips. Another great trick is using bubble wrap:
- Simply cut a piece of bubble wrap to fit the glass pane.
- Spray the glass with a light mist of water.
- Place the bubble wrap on the glass with the flat side against the glass.
The bubble wrap should stay in place for the remainder of the winter, but if it slips off, simply spray the window with water and reapply the bubble wrap. The bubble wrap works like blanket for the glass, which will keep the room much warmer.
Weather Stripping and Caulking
This is probably one of the least expensive, yet most effective ways to reduce drafts and cut down on energy use during the winter. Simply grab a tube of caulk, take a walk around the perimeter of your house and fill in any cracks and gaps you find around the windows. Installing weather stripping along the inside of the window frame (and around the doors) will help to keep the drafts out.
Although the windows play a major role in how drafty your home is, it's important to keep in mind that when you are preparing your windows for winter, you'll also need to prep the other areas of your home as well. So, don't forget to install weather-stripping around the doors, make sure the attic is fully insulated and check for gaps around vents and plumbing pipes that may need sealed with foam insulation. Look into residential screen repair for more help.