It’s easy to think that once the summer sun is gone, so too is the season for home maintenance projects. But just as you keep living in your homes during the winter, so too does your home need ongoing maintenance and repair to keep your family safe and warm all season long. Follow these basic tips for winter window maintenance and rest easy knowing that your windows are doing their jobs at peak performance, saving you money and providing warmth and comfort.
- Clean Windows: Make sure that the windows on the south side of your home are clean to help maximize the heat from solar gain. The winter sun is weaker, but it still provides some heat!
- Window Treatments: Consider using heavier drapes or plastic sheeting to provide extra protection from radiant heat loss through your windows. Even if the seal on a window is sound, heat can still travel through the glass. Consider replacing your windows with double-paned, energy efficient ones to lower your heating costs and keep you snug all winter long.
- Seal Windows: Drafts are a money-sucking nuisance that dumps all of your heated air out into the snow. You should check windows for drafts using the tissue paper or match trick: hold a piece of tissue paper up to the window and watch to see if it moves. Alternatively, hold a lit match up to the seals on your windows and watch to see if the flame flickers. (Be cautious of drapes and other flammable materials!) If you find a draft or a place where the window seal has failed, you can temporarily put a band-aid on the problem with some foam sealant or plastic sheeting, but you should get a professional to take a look at the window to see if the frame is warped and needs to be replaced.
- Replacement Windows: Did you know that windows can be replaced during the winter? The total time that the window opening is open is only a few minutes elapsed between the time that the old windows come out and the new windows go in. There is only so much that you can do to fix an energy inefficient window—consider how much money in heating and cooling you’ll save with an updated, energy efficient window.
By making sure that your windows are clean, properly dressed with plastic sheeting or heavy drapes, sealed against leaks and drafts, and replaced when necessary, you can ensure your family’s comfort throughout the whole winter. Being a homeowner is a full-time job, so don’t let costly repairs build up for the spring time by neglecting your window maintenance in the winter.