Five Easy Ways to Winterize Your Windows

Winter can be brutal on your home or office. Icy winds and frigid air will look for anywhere they can to infiltrate your space. This can make your building drafty and uncomfortable, and also might drive up your utility bill as your furnace works overtime to make up for the heat loss. Many forms of winter window cover can help fight against these drafts and rising utility bills.

Weather can affect many areas of your home, but if you insulate your windows for winter you’ll get the biggest return on investment. Older ones may account for much of the cold air leaking into your building, thanks to worn out seals or cracks in the frames. By taking the time to winterize your windows, you can solve a large portion of the problem and have a warmer, more energy-efficient space.

snow covered home kept warm because of winterized windows

There are many ways to insulate windows for winter. Here are five popular and effective ways to save some money and keep out the chill:

How to Insulate Window for Winter

1. Weatherstripping: Seal windows for winter with weatherstripping. Whether it comes as strips of foam, rubber tubing or rigid gaskets, these materials serve to create a barrier against the cold air. This is one of the most common methods of weatherproofing windows for winter because it seals the gaps between them and their frames. Depending on how comfortable you are with DIY projects, you may be able to weatherproof your windows fairly quickly. Many types feature self-adhesive backings, fit into place using tension or even attach with magnets. Weatherstripping may change the look of your windows considerably, however. If aesthetics are important to you, it might be worth looking at another option.

Advantages: 1) Cheap 2) Easy to apply 3) Addresses drafty sashes

Disadvantages: 1) Can change aesthetics 2) Doesn’t address cold panes that quickly cool the inside air

strip of foam weatherstipping used to seal windows

2. Caulking: Caulking is another option to seal windows for winter. In some cases, your windows may be old enough that the caulk around them has deteriorated or shrunk. This creates gaps where freezing air could slip inside. If that’s true anywhere around your property, re-caulking could be the way to go. You’ll need to remove the old caulk with a screwdriver, putty knife or another tool before reapplying. It’s also important to choose the compound you use carefully, as not all are suitable for outdoor applications. If you’re experiencing a draft and want to solve the problem right away, however, you may not be able to use this method. That’s because the temperature needs to be higher than 45 degrees Fahrenheit to achieve the best results.

Advantages: 1) Cheap 2) Easy to apply 3) Addresses cracks

Disadvantages: 1) Messy 2) Doesn’t address cold panes that quickly cool the inside air 3) Can damage frame when removing previous winter’s caulk 4) Must apply before weather gets too cold

caulk gun used to caulk and insulate windows

3. Draft snakes: One of the simplest forms of winter window cover is a draft stopper or “draft snake.” This is nothing more than a long sleeve filled with dense materials such as dry rice. Many people make them at home out of old socks or sweatpants. Draft stoppers may be enough to block a small amount of air from the outside, but they might not be completely effective because they work best laid along the bottom edge of the window. On the plus side, draft snakes are easy and cheap compared to other types of weatherproofing.

Advantages: 1) Cheap 2) Easy to apply 3) Easy to remove 4) Fun designs

Disadvantages: 1) Works well only at the base of the window 2) Doesn’t give airtight seal against

draft snake used to winterize your windows

4. Shrink-wrap kits: Found at practically any home improvement store, these DIY kits involve applying plastic around the windows and using a hair dryer to shrink-wrap them. This almost completely seals the entire frame and prevents any air from getting in or out of the room. Many homeowners swear by these kits as the best method for insulating windows for winter. Still, the size of most commercial buildings’ panes makes shrink-wrapping impractical. You’ll also have to wait until spring if you want to open the window without tearing the plastic. These are often used along with weatherstipping and caulking to further insulate windows for winter.

Advantages: 1) Cheap 2) Seals frame

Disadvantages: 1) Unsightly 2) Have to tear it off to open windows 3) Can damage frames when removing 4) Can’t fit all window sizes

shrink-wrap kit, caulk gun, and weatherstipping all used to winterize windows

When researching how to insulate windows for winter, if you’re only asking what you can put on the windows to keep cold out, or how you can seal cracks, you’re addressing only part of the issue. The fact is cold gets in your home through both the window sashes and the glass. You need a solution that seals the entire frame so neither the sashes or cold glass are affecting the inside air.

5. Window inserts: Also known as interior storm windows, these customized inserts fit snugly into the existing frame. There, they create a near airtight seal that blocks the cold, making them the best way to winterize your windows. Indow® uses proprietary software to design compression-fit inserts that fit virtually any existing window. Our products can be installed without hardware and are almost undetectable. What’s more, they cost less than installing all-new windows. And with an average of 20% savings on energy bills with Indow inserts and a limited lifetime warranty, this is a worthwhile way to insulate your windows.

Advantages: 1) Easy installation 2) Easy removal 3) 99% airtight seal 4) Can also address noise and harmful UV radiation

Disadvantages: 1) Must remove to access windows, but compression tube allows for countless installations and removals

To learn more about our efficient, cost-effective solutions for weatherproofing, get in touch today.

Free Home Checklist for Winter Weatherization

If you are trying to solve how to make your home warm and cozy this winter, it sometimes takes a bit more than just the windows. Our free Winter House Maintenance Checklist gives you the ability to walk around your home and note what items might need attending to prepare your home for cold weather.

Download Winterize Your Home Checklist here.

winter weatherization checklist - free download pdf

Customer Reviews

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4.49 Average 1493 Reviews

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JD

Brian was very helpful & informative. He helped me order the correct windows for my needs. They were shipped with the utmost of care & arrived ahead of schedule. Ultimately, the Indow Windows have been very helpful in muffling unwanted noises & they have helped save on our energy costs. Thank you, Indow Window!

Posted 1 week ago

Cynthia M

Very happy with the reduction in noise. Easy to install and use. Great customer service.

Posted 1 month ago

Juli E

We are thrilled with our Indow window inserts! I'd been on the lookout for a more permanent solution to leaky windows in our third floor living space. I discovered Indow on social media but since then have learned of friends who'd had Indow recommended to them by their rennovation contractor. The entire process went smoothly with friendly reps at hand to talk through questions during measuring, etc. They fit perfectly and help us to maintain the beautiful design of the windows on our 100 year old home! Highly recommend!!

Posted 2 months ago

Jen F

Worth the money!

Posted 2 months ago

Elizabeth H

For townhouse living, this solved my problem with noise from my neighbor's with my kitchen window. A considerable decrease of noise indeed! Measurements were a bit frustrating so I recommend using a laser measurement device and following directions to use a string for the diagonal. They look great and were easy to push into place. I highly recommend as an alternative to buying a new window.

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Easy to install, and instantly stopped drafts and dampened outside noises very effectively!

Posted 3 months ago

Robert C

The process could've been smoother with the sending of the measuring kit. There was a delay with weather in Oregon but then it felt like my kit was still delayed due to other reasons. Most new homes (like mine) have textured paint and it can also be inside your window frames. I measured everything out but I still have little tiny gaps due to the texturing. Not indows problem but just be aware you made need to sand or fill in those gaps yourself to get a perfect seal. I did the acoustic grade inserts and they have reduced some noise but they will not completely block or significantly reduce road noise. This is most apparent with deep or lower frequencies like truck exhausts or modified street racing cars that are quite popular these days. Taking the inserts out to open your windows isn't an easy task. The little metal hook they provide needs to be either bigger or you can attach something to it as a way to leverage yourself. Overall the process was average. I think they're definitely a good option for weatherproofing and some sound reduction depending on the type of windows you have. I would purchase again.

Posted 3 months ago

Shelley C

The process for ordering and installing the Indow Widnow inserts was so easy. They sent the measuring information and it had great instructions. The inserts were delivered by UPS was crushed on one corner, but the company had packed them well, so there was no damage. We installed them the same day. It works best if you have two people completing the installation. We felt the results immediately and are glad we spent the money to make our home just a little more efficient.

Posted 3 months ago

Barry B

The insert fits like a glove and insulates the window! No more frost and condensation on the interior of the window! Thank you for an easy, effective and attractive fix!

Posted 3 months ago

Susan A

The support during the entire process was wonderful, thank you so much for the extra quiet space!

Posted 3 months ago

Volodymyr R

Very good good quality. Overall very satisfied with this product and service. Thanks

Posted 3 months ago

Jane H

Our home was built in 1913 and has beautiful old wavy glass single-paned windows. I’m so glad we were told about Indows and didn’t have to replace the original windows. We live in Canada but had no difficulty placing the order and were very impressed by how accurately the company met its deadlines, including cross border delivery. The Indows inserts blend in perfectly with our home and the existing window frames. You don’t see them unless you’re actually looking for them. But what we did notice was how much warmer the rooms feel the minute the inserts were installed! I can’t speak to any heating bill savings because they just went in this week, but our home feels much, much cozier. Our contractor who took all the measurements and installed the Indows says: “Excellent instructional videos: clear and informative. Very impressed with the design and the product. Overall, the ease of installation is quite impressive. Working with all the staff at the company was great – everyone was very helpful.” I’m already recommending this company to any of my friends who live in drafty older homes and want to reduce their heating/cooling bills and do some good for the environment.

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Don't be afraid of buying an older home with single pane windows. This company has you covered. Their inserts are super high quality and fit well thanks to the laser measuring kit they send. Highly recommended!

Posted 3 months ago

Katie M

We purchased three Indows to reduce drafts and noise in our bedroom, which faces the street. The improvement was immediate. Our house was built in 1958 and although we have exterior storm windows we didn't want to replace the windows outright due to cost and architectural consistency. These were an excellent solution.

Posted 3 months ago

Matthew L

Indow inserts were easy to measure, order and install. They've provided great insulation for old single-pane and stained glass windows in an antique home. We can significantly feel how much better the home holds heat.

Posted 4 months ago