weatherize your windows for the sake of energy efficiency

Weatherize Your Windows for the Sake of Energy Efficiency

July 20, 2015

As summer continues to heat up, your concerns about home energy efficiency naturally increases. Windows are a great and easy place to start when weatherizing your home. A lot of energy can be lost through leaky window frames and thin glass panes during these hot days of summer. Weatherizing your windows therefore begins with looking for cracks or gaps that let the cold air out, and the hot air into your home. There is never a wrong time to make changes, as your comfort level and wallet will soon realize a significant difference.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that if you have a newer home, you are not at risk of wasting energy through windows. Even relatively new vinyl or aluminum windows can allow air loss or intrusion through defective weatherstripping and gaskets. With some effective strategies for weatherizing windows, though, you can begin to improve energy efficiency immediately.

Where to Start

There are relatively inexpensive, quick solutions available to help you save energy in your home. Try some of the following simple suggestions for weatherizing windows:

  • Curtains, shades and blinds can do a lot to block or reduce the effect of solar energy entering your home.
  • Rope caulk can be used for older windows that shrink with age or windows that might be defective, to prevent the cool air from escaping.
  • V-strip weatherstripping is a simple measure that is great for reducing energy loss through windows. Press this inexpensive weatherstripping along the sides of windows sashes.
  • Install shrink film, using double-sided tape to apply it and a hair dryer to shrink it tightly into place. This will help to seal windows.
  • To seal small cracks in the window pane, take clear nail polish and carefully brush it over the crack. The hardened polish will seal the crack until you have a chance to replace the glass.
  • Use a draft snake to stop air from moving under windows that won’t close tightly. This long, slender cloth casing, filled with foam, should be pressed into place at the base of the window. While you can buy draft snakes at home improvement stores, you can create your own using an old knee sock filled with dry rice.
  • For windows where appearance isn’t a big concern, such as in the attic or basement, try an opaque window covering that fits snugly into the frame. Use a piece of foam board that has been glued to a properly sized section of drywall. This make-shift storm window can be sized to precisely fit your window.

Weatherize Your Windows for the Long Term

  • Reglazing is somewhat similar to caulking, but involves removal of panes. It might seem like an overwhelming task to many, but can be a rewarding do-it-yourself project for those willing to take on the challenge. Replacing deteriorating glazing putty may be necessary with older windows. Over time, the glazing will dry and crack, falling apart and away from the window. While you can re-glaze the windows yourself, it may be best to hire a trusted expert to complete the job correctly and thoroughly.
  • If all else fails, it is time to consider replacing old, leaky windows. Eventually every homeowner faces this potentially expensive upgrade. Yet, there’s consolation in knowing that swapping out old, inefficient windows for modern, energy-saving models will make your home more comfortable and result in substantial savings in utility bills over time.
  • Revamp old storm windows so they remain effective even through the ravages of time. Spend some time cleaning, repainting and re-glazing them so they’ll be ready when winter comes around.

For more information about making your Hanahan area home more energy-efficient, contact Berkeley Heating & Air Conditioning at (843) 277-6030. Our experienced technicians are happy to provide you with solutions for your HVAC needs.

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