As winter temperatures quickly descend upon the Mid-Atlantic region and coastal Delaware, it’s time to talk about insulating your windows. Heat can easily escape through panes of glass, cracks in caulking, or gapping in the frame. Insulating your windows, and therefore improving your home’s heat retention, can help cut energy costs. Not only will you feel more comfortable during the winter months, but you can save some money, too.
Here’s how to insulate windows to keep the cold out and your energy bill down:
Caulk is a flexible material that helps seal cracks and gapping in your window frame, and is essential to preventing air flow. Proper window caulking should be completed on both the interior and exterior of the home.
Scrape the window edges to remove any old caulking and peeling paint. Next, clean the area with a damp rag to remove any remaining paint chips. Wait a few hours for the area to dry completely, otherwise, the caulking cannot properly adhere to the surface.
Keep in mind that higher temperatures allow the caulk to cure more quickly, so when applying new caulking on the windows’ exterior, the outside temperature should be no cooler than about 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, avoid caulking if the forecast predicts any rain, as cracks can fill with moisture and swell.
There are various types of weatherstripping available on the market for insulating your windows. Some may work better than others depending on the kind of windows you have.
V-channel weatherstripping, also known as V-strip, is used primarily on the sides of double-hung or sliding windows. It is available in aluminum, stainless steel, and vinyl. Once in place, V-strip is invisible and proves to be a durable option for insulation. However, it can interfere with easily opening and closing the window.
Foam tape is another inexpensive and easy-to-install option. It comes in various materials, including vinyl, rubber, and PVC. Apply it to the top and bottom of the window sash and any inoperable windows. Unlike V-channel weatherstripping, foam tape is visible and should only be used where the least wear and tear is expected.
Window Insulation Film
Not only does applying window insulation film prevent airflow, it also reflects heat and blocks UV rays. Before deciding to use window insulation film, check the warranty on your windows because adding the film could void the contract.
There are two types of window insulation film available on the market:
- Solar control film reduces solar radiation by reflecting the sun’s infrared rays and absorbing UV rays. It’s adhered directly to the glass and is designed to last about 10 years.
- Convection control film is attached to the window frame, leaving a gap between the film and the window. This slows the transfer of heat and reduces overall heat conduction. Unlike solar control film, convection control film can be adhered to in the winter and removed in spring.
If you’re using a DIY kit for window insulation film, we recommend thoroughly cleaning the windows and glass, and allowing them to completely dry before adhering to the film. Apply carefully to avoid gapping, air bubbles, or ripples, which can reduce the film’s efficiency.
Here at Advance Inc., we proudly provide our customers and communities with reliable resources and outstanding service. If you need window services this winter, including insulation, repair, or replacement, contact us today to speak to a representative.