As the wind howls outside my window this brisk December afternoon in Westminster, Colorado; I find myself wishing I had better insulated windows. The house I live in is not that old but it still has the original single pained windows. I started looking up information and I was pretty surprised to find out I could be losing anywhere from 15-35% of my home's heat through outdated windows. No wonder my Xcel bill jumped $80 bucks last month! Anyway, here's some information about how to winterize your home's windows.
There many different ways to go about insulating your existing windows, some of which are temporary and cheap while others can be more expensive and permanent. If you suspect your windows are letting out costly heat here is what you should do. First, you want to play inspector, and check out your windows thoroughly to figure out where air is coming in. After measuring your windows and evaluating the situation head over to Home Depot or Lowes and browse their selection.
There are several products you can buy like window insulation film kits, weather stripping, indoor shrink wrap, draft snakes, foams, and sealant sprays that fix a variety of problems. But be sure to read the directions and clean the windows before applying anything!
The simplest ways to fix a drafty window is to use rubber weather strips. Although it is an inexpensive way to fix gaps they do sometimes cause damage when you try to remove them in the spring. Window insulation film kits are more permanent and come with shrink wrap film that you apply directly to the inside frame of the window. These products need to be heat dried for a secure fit and add an additional layer of protection the window itself. The down side is that they have a cloudy and unsightly appearance. Another option is to buy thermal shades or layered drapes. These products tend to be fairly expensive as well and will definitely block all hopes of sunlight. Correcting little problems with yearly maintenance like re-caulking your windows and making sure the locks fit tightly can also help to prevent bigger issues later on.
Your other option to trying to repair your inefficient windows is to install new triple pained windows. With the rebates and tax credits that are available, installing new energy pro windows can be more affordable then you thought. On top of it, they are considered an upgrade to your home and will add to its overall value if you ever decide to sell.