Affordable Ways To Winterize Your Windows

Affordable Ways To Winterize Your Windows

Winterize Windows

It’s getting chilly around the San Francisco Bay Area, it’s time to start thinking about cleaning the gutters, storing the outdoor furniture, and raking leaves. What about your windows? It’s time to make sure you don’t have any air leaks to allow cold winter drafts to enter your home. Here are some affordable and simple ways to winterize your windows.

First off, make sure your windows are clean. You’re probably thinking, but it’s winter, and the windows are going to get dirty; why would I clean them now? It’s important to make sure your window frames, sills, and tracks are clean and free of debris. This will ensure all your windows close properly, providing a nice tight seal. If any debris is preventing the window from closing even a fraction of an inch, it could lead to having a draft this winter.

Now that we have our windows clean and closed tightly, it’s time for a quick inspection around the exterior perimeter of the window. Look around the edges of the window, and inspect the caulking. Is it damaged, brittle, or even missing? If so, it’s time to re-caulk your windows. Make sure to use a high-quality exterior caulking; after all you don’t want to do this all the time. Also, don’t try and just put the new caulking over the old; remove any damaged caulking and clean the work area with a scrub brush and soapy water. This extra attention to detail with ensure a nice strong bond with the new caulking. 

After caulking the outside of the windows, move inside to add some weather stripping. You can apply weather stripping to the window sash. The sash is the part of the window that moves. There are tons of different weather-stripping solutions; find the best one to fit your windows. You want a nice, snug fit but not too tight that it makes it hard to open or close your windows. The most common type of weather stripping is felt; it’s used as a compression fitting to create a nice secure fit.  Felt is affordable and usually sold in large rolls at your local hardware store. There are other options available such as a rubber tube style, which also gets compressed to create a seal. As mentioned, choose the best weather stripping for your windows.

At this point, you may feel that your windows are sealed enough, and they probably are, especially if you have dual-pane window units. However, if you have single-pane windows, you may want to consider a window insulation kit. Basically, what these kits do is mimic a dual pane window by creating a cold air barrier; they seal the entire window behind a thin sheet of plastic shrink-wrap material. The plastic “shrink-wrap” adheres to the window casing with the provided double-sided tape and then you shrink the plastic with a hair dryer, creating a tight seal. The seal is very tight and eliminates almost all drafts.

Another neat ultra simple trick is to use bubble wrap. Bubble wrap makes great insulation. Simply get enough bubble wrap to cover the desired windows, cut the bubble wrap to cover the window, and use a spray bottle filled with water and little soap to mist the window, then stick the bubble wrap on. It’s simple and easily removable, plus this would work great for any window you want to add some privacy to.

These simple do-it-yourself tips should help keep your family nice and cozy this winter. Did we miss one? Let us know in the comments; we want to hear your creative ideas.