If you’re reaching for your coat while inside your home, it’s time to seal up some windows. Air gaps not only allow the cold in, but they also allow the heat out, leading to unnecessarily high utility costs. In this blog post, we’re going to look at 6 easy fixes for those drafty windows to help you stay warmer.
1. Combine window treatments
For protection against the elements, combine blinds, sheer curtains, and heavy drapes. Keep everything closed when it’s cold outside. If it’s cold but not frigid and the room gets sunlight, raise the blinds, open the drapes, and let some sunlight into the room to warm it up.
2. Use window snakes
Window snakes are long tubes filled with sand or water-absorbing material that are placed at the bottom of windows to block drafts and/or absorb condensation. You can also use a rolled up towel or blanket instead. Change these often if they become wet after absorbing moisture.
3. Cover windows with plastic
Window insulation kits, which seal the window with a plastic film, are available at your local hardware store or online. These kits include plastic sheeting that you affix to the jambs with double-sided tape. Once in place, heat the plastic with a hairdryer. The shrinking action will make it look like another glass pane.
4. Fill in any gaps around windows
If you have spaces in your window frames that you can fit your finger into, fill them with a gap filler. A popular choice is foam rope that comes on a roll and in various sizes to fill both small and large gaps. Press it into the spaces and trim off the excess with scissors.
5. Reglaze loose window panes
If your windows are old and wooden, check to see if any of the glazing is missing or loose. If so, reapply glazing in these areas to create a better seal around the glass. Just be sure to do this before the temperature dips below 10 degrees Celsius, as the putty won’t cure properly when cold.
6. Lock windows and apply weatherstripping
Last but not least, one of the most vital steps when winterizing your home is to lock the windows. Window locks pull the sashes together, closing up the space that cold air leaks through. Most of a window’s heat loss occurs through gaps between the sashes and the frame. You can reduce drafts by weather-stripping where two surfaces push together (the horizontals of a double-hung window and the verticals of a casement or gliding window) or where two surfaces slide against each other (the verticals of a double-hung window and the horizontals of a gliding window).
A word of caution: If you are planning on using rope caulk or other sealants that permanently render an operable window non-operational, make sure that you keep at least one working window in each room. Building codes require that basements and sleeping rooms have at least one functioning means of egress.
Our windows are ENERGY-STAR® certified and custom-made with a variety of glass options. If it’s finally time to replace your windows or doors, give us a call or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation. We offer window replacement services in the Greater Vancouver Area, the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Nanaimo, and Campbell River.