Winter is here, and you may have heard some of your neighbors talking about winterizing their windows. To winterize your windows is to help seal them and insulate your home so that it can stay warm during the winter. But if you have a furnace or another heating system, you might find yourself wondering why you need to winterize your windows. After all, if you’re comfortable enough, what’s the point?
The truth is that winterizing your windows is essential to not only your comfort, but your heating bills, and even your carbon footprint. In today’s blog, let’s discuss why you should winterize your windows as well as some methods you can use to do so.
Why Winterize Your Windows
The Quad Cities climate, as well as the climate throughout Illinois, can be quite harsh in the winter. Frigid winds, heavy snow, ice and hail are all commonplace. Most homeowners prefer to stay indoors as much as they can during the winter, but this can still be uncomfortable if you live with drafts and chill. Winterizing your windows, primarily, helps to keep drafts out of your home so that you feel comfortable indoors even on the harshest days of cold.
However, home comfort is not the only reason why you should winterize your windows. Energy efficiency is also a major consideration. Energy efficiency is about minimizing your energy usage in your home so that you can lower your energy bills. In the case of winterizing your windows, you want to keep your heating bill to a minimum. When your windows allow heat to escape your home, your heating unit has to work twice as hard to keep your home comfortable…and you pay for that extra work. In addition, it can wear down your furnace or other heating unit, which could lead to breakdowns and a need to replace the system.
Winterizing your windows helps to seal and insulate your home, so that you can stay comfortable without having to crank the heating unit. This will save you money on your heating bills, and over time, it will even help to lower your carbon footprint. It’s for this reason that eco-conscious homeowners will also often winterize their windows.
Finally, winterizing your windows will help to keep pests out. During the winter, bugs, rodents, and like pests will try to make their way into your home so that they can stay warm and well-fed. If your windows are old and weak, they can often find their way in through a crack in the seal. When your windows are winterized, you’ll enjoy not just home comfort and lower heating bills but more security knowing your home will not be overrun with pests.
How To Winterize Your Windows
Now that we’ve discussed why you should winterize your windows, the next step is to know how to winterize them. The extent of your winterizing process depends on the age of your windows and the amount of energy efficiency they already have. For instance, if you have very old, out-of-date, drafty windows, you might be better served by simply replacing them. If you have new, energy efficient models you might have to do very little to winterize them. That said, there are some standard steps you can take to winterize your windows. Here are a few of them:
- Inspect. The first thing you should always do is inspect your windows to see how severe the issues might be. Any cracked frames or cracked glass? Loose latches or sashes? These are all things that could lead to drafts or to pests getting in during the colder months.
- Caulk. If you notice cracks in the seal around the window frames, you may be able to fill them with caulk, fixing the issue with the air leaks in your window if it’s a small one.
- Weatherstrip. Weatherstripping is one of the most common ways to winterize your windows. Weatherstripping wraps around where the frame meets the window opening. There are a number of different types of weatherstripping out there — including weatherstripping for windows and doors, so make sure you find the right weatherstripping for your kind of window.
- Draft snakes. Can’t afford weatherstripping or caulk? Don’t want to leave your home due to the pandemic? You can use this home remedy — an old sock filled with rice, and lay it at the bottom of the window. This will help to slow the flow of air underneath the frame, as well.
- Plastic wrap. You can also slow the flow of air through your windows by wrapping them in plastic film. There are specific plastic films designed for window winterization that will add a layer to the glass and help to seal heat inside your home.
- Curtains. Thick curtains may also help to block heat loss or cold air coming in through the windows.
Need another way to help winterize your windows this year? Consider some of our insulating glass options. We have six different options, including Ultra-U VSS Glass System, Ultra-U Plus 12 Glass System, and UltraAr90, all of which use high-density argon to help slow the flow of air between panes of glass. This insulating glass will even come in handy in summer, such as our SunClean Self-Cleaning Glass that uses UV rays to clean dirt and debris off of itself.
Winterizing your windows will help you stay warm and comfortable through the winter, but it will also help you to save money on your energy bills and even lower your carbon footprint. But sometimes the best way to winterize your windows is to replace them with a more modern, energy efficient model. Need help winterizing your window? Contact Mainstream Home Improvements today for more information or to set up a free estimate.