The cold winter months not only bring most people howling winds and icy weather but also escalating energy bills. For many American families, the winter energy bill is the largest bill they pay. Did you know that old drafty windows account for the home’s biggest heat loss? In fact, according to the US Department of Energy, 25-30% of your hard-earned money that you spend on heating costs is literally going out the window.
Replacing all the old worn-out windows in your home may be inevitable someday but not an ideal solution during the midst of winter. Plus, it is an expensive undertaking and many families do not have it in their budget now. However, by using some DIY (Do-It-Yourself) window winterization tricks, you can save money by increasing your home’s energy efficiency.
An energy audit is the best way to identify your home’s energy wasters. When an energy audit is performed, the home’s energy efficiency is audited to find deficiencies. Afterward, the auditor will recommend solutions to fix the faulty areas. Energy audits are an excellent way to identify energy-efficient problems, however, they can be expensive.
The good news is that if you can’t afford an energy audit, or maybe don’t have the time to wait for an auditor, here is one easy way to locate leaks and drafts.
On a windy day go from room to room, with a notepad, and feel for cold air seeping in around your windows. Use the notepad to take note of which windows let the coldest air in so you will fix the biggest problem area first.
WINTERIZING EXISTING WINDOWS
After the problem areas have been identified, here are a few DIY tricks to help improve the window’s efficiency and save money on next month’s energy bill.
- Replace Broken Glass Panes – Check each glass pane in your windows. If you find a broken window pane, replace it not only for energy efficiency reasons but also for safety.
- Add Caulking Around Windows – The least expensive, yet highly effective, way to solve problems around stationary leaky windows is to add caulk. For best results, use a Polyurethane caulk because it does not shrink, and can be painted. Not to mention, it sticks better and doesn’t attract dirt or dust like regular caulk.
- Add Weatherstripping – Whereas caulk is used with fixed windows, Weatherstripping is used to seal around the openings moving windows to prevent costly leaks.
- Add Insulation – You have two options when it comes to insulating around your windows. One is batt insulation, the other is spray foam. When deciding to use insulation, there is a caveat – you need to be able to access the area behind the window trim. Here a couple of tips using insulation –
- Batt insulation works best if not overstuffed, gently inserted and still fluffy.
- Spray foam insulation – choose the type make specifically for windows.
- Install Window Insulator Kits – Use window insulator kits for a budget-friendly, easy to install, effective way to stop air leaks with windows. Each kit contains a film that works for months. It produces natural heat by letting the sunshine in to warm the windows. Highly recommended for an eco-friendly way to reduce your heating system’s workload.
- Storm Windows – If your windows come with storms, use them.
- Add Window Treatment – Looking for a reusable solution to stop drafts and wasting energy? Opt for thermal window treatments. These heavy, thermally-lined drapes can be used for years to ensure a window’s maximum energy efficiency.
Just by using a few of these tricks, you will see a difference in the family’s energy budget and indoor comfort. However, if it is time to consider purchasing new windows, be sure to look for ones that are rated for air leakage – which means they have a tight window seal. You can also take help from professionals like https://
Michael Tobias, PE, is the principal and founder of Chicago Engineers. He leads a team of over 30 mechanical, electrical, and fire protection engineers. Although Chicago Engineers’ main headquarters are in NYC and Chicago the business has led over 1,000 engineering projects in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Maryland, and California, as well as Malaysia and Singapore. Michael is an advocate for green technology and energy efficiency.