Maximizing the energy efficiency of your windows is important regardless of the time of year. You may notice drafts coming in through the windows, which is a good indication that you are losing both heating and cooling costs throughout the year. Replacing your windows is usually the best option, it’s not always feasible due to the cost. In the event that replacing your windows is not an option, here are some alternative solutions you can try to make your older windows more energy-efficient.
Adding caulking and weather-stripping are two of the easiest and most cost-effective ways a homeowner can reduce leaks and drafts in their windows. By filling in small cracks and gaps around your window frames you can offset lower utility costs within one year of doing so.
For cracks less than ¼ inch in width on the non-movable parts of your window, apply caulk around the frame and where the trim meets the wall. If there are larger or irregularly shaped gaps you can use spray foam to fill those in since it will expand to fill the space.
Weather-stripping should be used on a window’s movable parts where two surfaces push together, such as where the lower sash meets the sill.
Installing energy-efficient window frames is another cost-effective option that is cheaper than replacing the entire window. A more efficient window frame will cause your windows to let less air out of your home. You should look for a window frame that has a Window Energy Rating Star label which will greatly improve the overall efficiency of your windows.
This is another very cost-effective option that can go a long way in improving energy efficiency in your home. By weatherizing the windows in your home with window coverings you provide an extra thermal layer that can reduce drafts from windows and reduce heat loss. Keep in mind this is not a standalone solution. If you find that your windows are drafty you should still caulk or weather-strip your windows.
When choosing drapes or curtains you should choose heavy thermal ones that hang below the ledge of the window. Keep your drapes or curtains open during the day while the sun is out, and close them at night when they tend to be more drafty.
In addition to the above solutions, you can also install insulating window panels or interior storm windows. Both of these options consist of adding an insulating material encased inside a frame that seals tightly against the interior side of your existing window. It typically attaches with either magnets or Velcro and is not a permanent fixture. These insulated panels can easily be removed after the cold winter months.
Another option is installing interior storm windows which are typically composed of a thin, durable sheet of plastic. These are not as effective as window panels, but they can increase energy efficiency.
Window films are plastic window films that look like a thicker version of plastic wrap. They can be bought in home maintenance stores or online and are sold in rolls that can be cut down to size to fit the exact dimensions of your window.
Once they have been attached to the window frame you will need to use a hair dryer to shrink the film, which will provide a better seal around the window. Since the film is clear, sunlight will still be able to penetrate into the room. However, since they are attached to the window frame, you will be unable to open the window until the film has been removed. Window films can also be helpful for homes that tend to get too hot during the warmer months or when the sun is out.
You have three options when replacing windows: full window replacement, insert windows (the old sashes come out and a whole new window inserts into your old window frame), and sash replacement (primarily for double-hung windows, this option requires jamb liners into which new sashes are installed). A typical full window replacement (a window 30 inches wide and 60 inches tall) will run about $400 to $600; insert replacements cost about $300 to $400, and sash replacement kits cost around $250 to $300. However, Unified’s full replacement windows start at $299; the best price in the market.
Even though this is typically the most costly option, Unified makes it affordable for anyone. Replacing your windows is a project that cannot be ignored. Contact us today to learn how we can help you save costs on your heating and cooling bills with our affordable replacement windows. Call us at 888-631-2131 or visit our website www.UnifiedHomeRemodeling.com