The howling of the wind. The whistling sounds coming in through the windows. The cold draft sending a chill up your spine.
These aren’t creepy Halloween vibes. They’re signs that it’s beyond time to winterize those doors and windows.
Better yet, you may need to replace them completely, but we’ll get to that later. First, let’s talk about a few things you can do right now to keep your family warmer and your heating bills lower this winter.
How to Insulate Windows
Early to mid-October is the ideal time to insulate windows for the season.
Begin by simply assessing the integrity of your windows. Analyze their condition, and feel around the edges and the pane itself to identify where drafts might be coming in. Another sign that your windows are getting older is if the window pane regularly fogs up or shows other signs of condensation.
If you do feel drafts, consider one of these two options to insulate the windows: batt insulation or insulating foam. Here’s how they work.
• Batt Insulation
Batt insulation is a fiberglass material, so if you choose this option, make sure you wear protective gloves before handling it. You should also wear protective goggles and avoid touching your eyes.
Use a pry bar to gently remove the molding, making sure not to damage or break the molding. Behind the molding, you will see a gap between the window and the wall. That’s the culprit.
Place insulating foam into this space. Keep in mind that this space extends from the window to the outer wall of the house, so you will need to use enough insulation to cover about 4 inches of space front to back.
Afterward, replace and secure the molding. A handy tip is to remove the existing nails and use new ones, or you may damage the appearance of the molding.
• Insulating Foam
The insulating foam route may be cleaner and easier … once you get the technique down pat. Insulating spray foam bottles feature a nozzle that you would insert into the gap between the window and the wall. Make sure it extends far back enough, and gently squeeze the product into the space.
It’s important to recognize that spray foam expands to at least three times its size, so don’t use too much or you will damage molding. You will also need to wait about 8 hours to allow the foam to fully take its permanent shape before you replace the molding.
Other Door & Window Winterization Tips
In addition to adding insulation around windows, several other door and window winterization techniques can be helpful.
1. Add weather stripping around the windows and doorframes.
2. Remove existing caulking and replace it with fresh caulking.
3. Consider adding storm windows for extra protection from the cold and wind.
4. Use high-quality window drapes to block the drafts.
5. Add cellular shades.
6. Cover any windows that are not in central locations or used on a regular basis, such as those in basement storage rooms, with materials such as shrink film.
7. Place a draft guard between the bottom of doors and their thresholds.
8. Lock your front door with a deadbolt to strengthen the seal.
When Winterizing Has Become Too Much
There comes a time when you may have to throw up your hands and face the truth.
If winterizing doors and windows is no longer doing the trick — or you’re finding yourself spending too much time and money to do so — it may be time to consider replacing the doors or windows.
Here are a few ways to tell when it’s time to replace those windows or doors.
- There are actual cracks or holes in the doors or window panes.
- The door or window frames are rotting, deteriorating, or warping.
- Beads of condensation regularly form on the panes.
- You struggle trying to open or shut them.
- The locks are broken or regularly jam.
- You simply need a refresh.
For more information about how to winterize windows and doors, to obtain a quote, or to schedule a consultation, send a message through our website, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (248) 278-1040.