Winter can be brutal on your home or office. Icy winds and frigid air will look for anywhere they can to infiltrate your space and drag the temperature down to their level. Not only could this make your building drafty and uncomfortable, it might drive up your utility bill as your furnace works overtime to compensate.
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 a significant portion 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.
There are numerous techniques to insulate windows for winter, depending on your preference. Here are five popular and effective ways to save some money and keep out the chill:
1. Weatherstripping: Whether it comes as strips of foam, rubber tubing or rigid gaskets, these materials serve to create a barrier against the cold. 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.
2. Caulking: 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.
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 inexpensive compared to other types of weatherproofing.
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 pane 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.
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, outside noise and harmful UV radiation. 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.
To learn more about our efficient, cost-effective solutions for weatherproofing, get in touch today.