No one wants to face the long winter unprepared. While many of us try our best to keep the house cozy and warm by shutting the windows, turning up the heat, and dusting off the space heaters, it takes a bit more to keep your home fully winterized these days. It’s hard enough to create a sealed, leak-proof environment before winter sets in. If you’re trying to fix drafty windows or upgrade your window models for a more sustainable, energy-efficient fix, it’s going to be an even harder challenge. If you’ve budgeted for a new set of winters this winter, you’ll have an easier time of creating a cozy, winterized environment. If you’re interested in getting new windows from your nearby retailer, you can view their windows here. Otherwise, you’re going to need all the help you can get turning your home into a draft-free area before winter hits.
Find Your Leaks
The first step toward an energy-efficient house is finding all your home’s vulnerabilities. If there are any gaps or places where you think air might end up leaking out, such as window borders, smaller cracks in the walls, and door openings, it’s time to inspect those areas to see what you’re dealing with. For easier areas like door openings, you can use draft guards, which slide on easily to plug up the gap between you and the outside. When it comes to trickier areas like your windows, you should try to apply caulking and weatherstripping on the inside of your window to ensure that there are no open areas for wind or moisture to travel through. This is easier said than done, especially if you have older windows that aren’t double paned for extra insulation. If you’ve recently replaced your windows with newer models, most of the work will already be done for you. Older, draftier models should first be stripped of old caulking and re-sealed with a fresh layer for better protection.
Use Door Seals
Using door seals or draft guards is one of the easiest ways to help stop air from getting inside. Even if you have a door that’s somewhat protected by a screen or a more formal entranceway, you’re still going to end up bringing a lot of cold air, snow, and moisture inside every time someone enters. Even when the door isn’t in use, the constant flow of air from the bottom opening could be enough to create a chilly draft. Using a draft guard will help diminish drafts, keep your entrance area warmer, and contribute to a quieter atmosphere by muffling any sound that might be getting in under the cracks.
Most homeowners make the switch from summer screen windows to winter storm windows in the fall after the weather has turned a bit brisk. However, setting up your storm windows isn’t the only thing you need to do. Before you install your winter windows, take a moment to insulate the area of the wall where your window goes. If you haven’t switched out your insulation in a long time, it could not only be contributing to drafts and moisture leaks, it could become flat-out dangerous. Older foam insulation has a tendency to crack and spark any weak electrical wiring inside your walls. This can be even worse in winter when firing up the central heating can end up overheating the wires and causing the old insulation to burn out. While it’s a good idea to update your entire home’s insulation regularly, you’ll want to pay attention to the area near your windows first to make sure you’re not inviting drafts.
Check for Condensation Buildup
Once your storm windows are installed, you should be on the lookout for any cracks, stains, or imperfections that could indicate a problem with your windows. For instance, if you’re seeing a lot of condensation building up in the middle layer of your glass, it could indicate that your window’s internal insulation panel isn’t working as it should. The same goes for windows that are slightly bowed in appearance with an oil slick-like pattern on the surface. If you’re using old or outdated windows, anything you do to protect against the elements is going to be far less effective off the bat. Make sure your windows are in good working condition each year before you go through the trouble of installing them. If your windows are in great shape and you’re still dealing with drafts, try using an extra protective layer such as insulation film or shrink wrap to keep cold gusts of air contained.