Insulate Your Home’s Windows To Save Energy

When we think about insulation we usually think about keeping our homes warmer during the winter. But, insulation is just as important in the summer months in helping to keep our homes cooler!

With the proper insulation you can save money on your cooling bills and be more comfortable in your home! Windows are a major source of energy loss, especially in older homes.

If just one of your windows has a crack as small as 1/16 of an inch you’ll lose as much warm or cold air from your home as a hole about as big as a brick! Imagine how much your losing when you combine all of the small cracks in your windows frames!

If your windows have sash locks, one way of tightening up your windows a little is by making sure the the sash pulls the windows tightly together. If there is any slack or gap in the window frames tighten the sash until it’s snug.

Weatherstripping is an excellent way to stop leakage. You can find it in various materials, but felt is probably the most common type used. It’s available in several thickness and you should purchase the one that will best fill in the amount of gap your windows have.

The weatherstripping can be attached with small tacks or it can be quickly stapled into place around your window! If the weatherstripping is too thick, it will be hard to open the windows! You can also purchase a clear weatherstripping tape that can be applied around the windows.

There are also several types of caulking that you can use to seal your windows. You can purchase caulk in tubes that can be placed into a caulking gun and you can purchase rope caulking. Rope caulk won’t shrink and it’s easy to remove, it also stays flexible.

Rope caulk is just what the name implies, it’s caulking that is in a rope or string form. You simply unroll it and place it where you need it and then you can use your finger to press it into place!

If you choose to use caulk you should purchase an acrylic latex caulk. Although, there are cheaper kinds of caulking, acrylic latex is the best suited for this type of project.

You should also remove any old caulking before applying any new caulk. And, clean the window frames throughly so that the new caulk can adhere to them. You can use turpentine, alcohol or a good soap to clean all the oils off of the frames.

When insulating your windows or doors, don’t forget to insulate the outside as well. Applying insulation to both sides of the window will double your chances of getting a good seal with less leakage.

Although, it’s a more expensive solution, storm windows are one of the best ways insulate your windows. It has been proven in studies that storm windows that fit tightly cut energy loss by around 50 percent!

A more cost efficient way to insulate windows is with plastic sheet kits. A good quality plastic kit will give close to the same results as storm windows in energy savings!

Most kits come with thin cardboard strips to hold the plastic in place, but you can increase the results by using small strips of thin boards. The cardboard strips don’t secure the plastic well enough and will allow air to escape or enter the home.

Plastic kits can be purchased that will shrink with the use of a blow dryer to make them look better and fit snugger. These types of kits also usually allow a better view of the outside since they are more clear.

If your windows are in really bad shape, you can use polyethylene sheeting. It’s a heavy duty plastic that will give a good seal, but it will almost totally block any view of the outside. This may be something you only want to use in extreme cases.

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