It’s officially winter and you can feel the chill outside. However, if you are feeling that chill inside, it is time to check your windows and get them ready for winter as well. This process, known as winterizing, will prevent both the frigid drafts from plummeting temperatures and the peaks of rising utility bills.
How to Winterize Your Windows:
1) Prepare the Window
Before you begin the winterizing process, make sure that your windows are clean. This can be done whenever the weather is temperate enough for the windows to be properly washed. Starting with a clean slate, examine the exterior windows for any gaps, check the caulk seal and note any other repairs that need to be made.
2) Close and Lock Your Windows
Next, be sure to close and lock all your windows. This action sets the window sashes into the correct position in the window frame, eliminating any unnecessary openings. It maximizes the windows energy efficient features.
Re-caulking windows is one of the most cost-effective ways of eliminating any leaks and drafts. First, check the exterior part of the window and then move on to the interior window, checking for any gaps and caulk that is old or missing. Be sure to remove the old caulk before you add the new caulk — it is easily removed with a putty knife or other tool.
After checking the caulk seal, check the weatherstripping around the windows. According to Craig Rowe at The Door Store and Windows, who has 25 years of experience in the door installation and service business, “the most important thing to address on any window is the weatherstripping. Making sure the contacts are clean so they seal well” is top priority. Weatherstripping is usually located on the sashes, which are the parts of your window that move. Look for any tears, disintegration or missing pieces of weatherstripping that need to be replaced. Weatherstripping can be foam, hard inserts or rubber tubing, all effective in creating a barrier to the cold.
Problematic primarily in older homes with wooden window frames, window panes often need to be reglazed as they age. During your initial prep of your windows, check that the panes are intact, not loose and that your glaze covers the expanse of the pane. Reglaze any panes that need it to ensure uniform coverage.
6) Determine need for new windows
Sometimes the weatherstripping and caulking are not enough, and it’s time for new windows. According to the experts at Marvin windows, “Old or inefficient windows could have the same effect on your heating bill as leaving a window open all winter long.” If this is the case, we are happy to come out and consult with you about your options.
Winterizing your windows is one of the biggest returns on investment that you can do to your home to maximize interior warmth and minimize high utility bills. It is a worthwhile investment of your time and money that will ensure you stay warm all winter long.