Eight Ways to Protect Your Windows in Wintertime
There are plenty of benefits to living in New England, but the harsh winter weather isn’t one of them. Temperatures can routinely drop below freezing outside, which can make keeping your home warm a difficult proposition. When these cold temperatures settle in, you can only throw so many logs on the fire, so your home’s heating system will likely still need to work overtime. However, you can make the process a little easier by ensuring that your home’s windows are properly prepared for the winter months.
Your Windows & Energy Efficiency
Your home’s windows can have a significant impact on the lengths you’ll need to go to keep it warm during the winter months. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that up to 30% of residential heating and cooling energy usage is the result of inefficient windows. So how can you get ahead of the game? Here are some steps you can take to ensure that your home’s windows are ready for below-freezing temperatures:
Make Sure They’re Clean
Part of the battle when trying to ensure improved thermal performance for windows is making sure that they are sealing properly when they’re closed. If the tracks are full of dirt and debris, the window sashes won’t create a perfect seal that prevents air seepage. So before winter settles in, it’s important that you clean out all your window tracks.
Inspect Caulking & Weatherstripping
Another area where air leaks can occur is the edges around the windows. Constant exposure to the elements can cause weatherstripping to become loose or brittle, and window caulking can sometimes pull away from the frame or develop cracks. Therefore, you should thoroughly inspect all your windows and repair or replace caulking and weatherstripping wherever needed.
It’s a good idea to remove your window screens during the winter, as you likely won’t be opening the windows anytime soon. Removing the screens:
- Prevents them from being damaged during snow or ice storms
- Stops snow from getting trapped between the screen and the window, which can cause damage
- Allows more solar energy to enter your home, which can increase its interior warmth
Install Storm Windows
If your home’s windows are old and inefficient, but you’re not ready to replace them, you may want to consider storm windows. Available in most common window sizes, storm windows can be installed over the exterior of your existing windows to help prevent air leaks. They also provide an extra layer of insulation against thermal heat loss
Make Sure They’re Properly Closed & Locked
When preparing your windows for approaching winter weather, it’s a good idea to push the sashes down firmly and then lock the windows to create as tight a seal as possible.
Install Energy-Efficient Window Treatments
There are several types of window treatments that can be installed in your home that will help prevent heat transfer. Cellular shades, for example, feature a honeycomb design that will help keep cold windows from cooling the air in your home. Heavy curtains and wood shutters can provide similar thermal efficiency.
Consider a Window Insulator Kit
Another option that is growing in popularity is window insulator kits. Most of the kits on the market are fairly basic—they include sheets of plastic that are taped over the inside of the windows to prevent air leaks and provide an additional layer of insulation. These are only a seasonal solution, as the windows cannot be opened once they’re installed.
Inspect Them During Warmer Months
If you’d like to ensure that your home’s windows are ready to provide proper energy efficiency throughout the winter months, you should consider hiring a professional window contractor to inspect them. The inspector can check for cracked glass, damaged hardware, faulty seals, and any other issues that could prevent your windows from performing as expected. If significant issues are discovered, repairs might be possible in some instances, but a window replacement project might be a better choice overall.
NEWPRO MAX Series Replacement Windows
If you’ve decided that your best chance of improving your home’s winter thermal performance is to replace your old windows, you can’t go wrong with NEWPRO. We’ve been providing window replacement solutions for New England homeowners since 1945 and offer three different product lines to ensure that there’s something for every taste and budget. Our replacement window options include our:
- EcoMAX windows, which feature insulated frames and sashes and two panes of insulated glass
- SuperMAX windows, which come with a triple-pane glass package and gas fills between the panes
- UltraMax windows, which feature durable composite frames and outperform other top-of-the-line windows in terms of weather protection and energy efficiency
Learn More About Our Replacement Windows
If you’d like additional information about the energy-efficient replacement windows we install for homeowners throughout New England, contact NEWPRO today.