Although the windows of your home contribute to the personality and beauty of your home, they are the largest source of heating and cooling loss. Leaky windows can allow both heated air and air conditioned air to escape, which can force you to run your heating and air conditioning systems more than you need to. There are a number of weatherproofing methods for your home windows that will help decrease air leaks and can help reduce your energy cost.
1. Insulator Kits
An insulation kit is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to install weatherproofing on your home windows. The kit consists of a roll or sheet of clear plastic and tape. Simply cut the plastic to fit the window, tape the edges flush with the frame and use a hair dryer to shrink the plastic to fit tightly on the window. Insulation kits are available that include everything you need. The primary issue with this process is that you will not be able to open the windows; however, it is very effective in keeping drafts out and heat in.
2. Weather Stripping
Weather stripping is also an easy solution for keeping the cold air out in winter. Weather stripping tape can be slightly more expensive than an insulation kit and can be time consuming to install, however, the weather stripping does an excellent job at keeping the heat in and cold air out. There are several types of weather stripping to choose from, including rubber and PVC foam, but the installation is basically the same, in that the tape is installed and sticks to the edges of the windows. For thicker weather stripping tape, it may be helpful to nail the tape in place in order to keep the tape secure.
3. Draft guards
Drafts can leak through the bottom of your home windows, even when they are closed. Draft guards are a solution to this problem. They are usually made of a thick piece of rubber or plastic material, which fits on both sides of the bottom of a window. The material blocks each side of the window bottom to keep drafts out and hot air in. Many guards also fit doors. They are quick and easy to install by simply opening the window, laying the draft guard on the bottom of the window frame and closing the window.
4. Heavy Drapes and Insulated Window Liners
The type of home window treatments you choose can play an important role in weatherproofing your window. When you hang heavy drapes it adds an extra layer of insulation to the windows. Insulated window liners are also available that attach behind your current window treatment to help block out the cold and keep warm air in. Just be sure to buy the right size for your window. If you are on a budget, you can attach blankets to your existing curtains, hang them from the existing curtain rods (if they can hold the weight) and it will keep much of the cold air out.
5. Storm and Energy Efficient Windows
If it is in your budget, replacing old windows with new energy efficient windows or adding storm windows will provide the weatherproofing you need to keep heat in and the cold out. Storm windows are additional panes of glass that are installed behind your permanent home windows and they can be removed for easy cleaning or storing. Energy efficient windows are an investment that will not only increase the value of your home, but save you a great deal of money on the energy bill.
Whichever type of weatherproofing you choose to use, it will save you money on your utility bills. Although it is typically thought of as a winter technique, weatherproofing windows during the summer is beneficial in helping to keep your air conditioned cold air inside your house.