It is extremely important to prepare your whole house, along with the windows, for the winter months. When working properly, windows allow the warmth and light of the sun to fill your home as they show you what is going on in the outside world. If your windows are improperly insulated, they allow the warmth inside your house to get out and end up raising your utility costs. Depending on the severity, your windows could be costing you hundreds of extra dollars every year in the Baltimore area.
There are many things to check before considering your windows healthy. New fiberglass frames are used on windows that claim to not shrink or warp. The other materials that you usually find as a window frame include aluminum, vinyl, and wood. Each one of these materials has their own issue. Aluminum expands in the heat which causes leaks down the line. Vinyl can easily twist and warp. Wood frames, the current favorite of most, does not shrink or expand much but may end up cracking from moisture.
Types of Windows
The type of window also makes all the difference. If you have a fixed pane window, you likely will not have much of your warmth escaping, but you are unable to open this up during the hot summer months. Single and double hung windows are very common but are the most susceptible to leaking. Casement windows, awnings, and hopper windows can all have a reliably airtight seal if made with compression seals.
Overall condition of a window also plays a huge part in heat loss. Prior to the winter months, but after the weather has cooled down, you should take these steps to help improve energy efficiency. Use some caulk around your window frame to help seal and insulate any cracks. Any noticeable holes can also be filled this way. Adding weather stripping to the leaking areas is also a good option. Once all of your caulk is dry, you can put up plastic sheets over your window frame to also help stop heat loss. The plastic is held to the wall with double sided tape and a hair dryer is used to make the plastic tight on the window.
Easy Window Installation
If you think a frame or window is now stopping the warmth of your home from escaping, be sure to leave any window treatments open allowing the sun to come in. Your window will actually allow the sun to warm your house up. At night, if you close everything back up, it will help to keep the heat in as well.
Window Contractors Can Help
Instead of just covering the problem up and hoping for the best, you can take action and install energy efficient windows yourself. Some older homes that need window replacements badly can benefit from this. You could save the cost of the windows in a short period of time and have them pay for themselves over time. Energy efficient windows is an investment in your home and can improve the overall value of your home as well.
By using your knowledge wisely and preparing your windows for the winter months, you can save money and enjoy a warmer home. If you want to know how big of a difference your windows can make in your utilities bills, make this the last year that you just try to seal up your old leaky windows. Keep track of what you spend on heat this winter, and next winter, when you have brand new energy efficient windows trapping the heat in, take another tally. By adding up the difference between your heating bill from last year and your new heating bills, you will see about how much money you are actually saving.