During the winter months, your windows do double duty by providing a scenic view to the outside and keeping your home cozy and warm. Taking proper steps to winterize windows will enhance your home's energy efficiency throughout the season.
How to winterize windows
Winterizing your windows is an essential part of maintaining a comfortable, energy-efficient home throughout the cold-weather season. Begin by carefully inspecting your windows for any signs of damage. If you see cracked or damaged glass, it's best to replace the window entirely. When purchasing new windows, always check the R-value. This number represents the window's resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better the product is at keeping heat inside during the winter months.
Condensation between the panes of glass can be a sign of a faulty seal on the insulated glass. When correctly sealed, the air-filled spacer between the window panes reduces heat loss. Contact a window repair company to discuss fixing the seal. If your window is under warranty, contact the manufacturer for a free repair.
Inspect the window frame for any cracks or gaps where cold air might seep in. You may notice that the caulk around the window is damaged, shrunken, or peeling. Remove the old caulk with a screwdriver and add fresh caulk to seal your windows properly.
Inspect the weatherstripping that runs along the bottom of the window. Weatherstripping usually lasts for about five years. You should replace your weatherstripping if you can see visible holes or cracks, find that the rubber is no longer bouncy, or detect air leaking under the window.
How to cover your windows to keep out the cold
Knowing when to open and close your window coverings makes a dramatic difference in your home's temperature. During the winter, you should open blinds and curtains in the morning so that sunlight can naturally warm parts of your home. It's essential to open your window coverings for east-facing and south-facing windows or those that receive a lot of light.
When the sun begins to set in the evening, close all your blinds and drapes. The more cover you can employ over your windows, the better. Window coverings will help keep the warm air inside your home from seeping out and maintain as comfortable a space as possible.
Motorized window treatments can streamline the process of opening and closing your shades or blinds throughout the day. You can program your window coverings to open and close at preset times. Adjust seasonally to coincide with sunrise and sunset. With motorized window coverings, you can maintain optimum energy efficiency even when you're not at home.
Set your shades or blinds ahead of time, and you'll always come home to a comfortable space. As a bonus, motorized window coverings can make your home look lived-in even if you're away on a holiday vacation.
The best window treatments for insulation and style
While you want to stay warm, you don't want to do so at the expense of your decor. Mindfully chosen window treatments can deliver a double dose of style and function for your home. Layer your drapes with insulating cellular shades for extra protection from the cold. Using a honeycomb design, this type of shade can provide an effective barrier between your living space and the cold glass of your window.
You can also layer your curtains with liners for light control. A room-darkening liner will keep out sunlight and chilly air, which can be a welcome feature if you want to sleep in, take a nap, or watch a movie in the living room during the day.
When you're selecting drapery for your windows, make sure you have panels wide enough to cover the entire window as well as some of the surrounding area. Drapes that hang a few inches beyond the window and fold back on themselves will provide the most effective barrier against drafts.
Your curtains and drapes should always be at least two times the width of the window for proper fullness. Floor-length drapes can help maximize your coverage and insulation as well.If you prefer the clean, modern look of drapery-free windows, consider durable wood shutters for your windows. These shutters open and close with a flip of the louvers, making it easy to adjust the light and warmth coming into the room. Hardwood or composite shutters are the best options for this purpose. They have an insulating design that makes it easy to maintain comfortable temperatures throughout the home.
The right window coverings make a big difference both for winterizing windows and decorating your home. If you're in the market for new drapes, curtains, shutters, or blinds, contact your local Budget Blinds for a free consultation to give you inspiring ideas for how to get started.