Windows are one of the most important parts of your home when it comes to proper insulation. They are often the weakest spot in terms of insulation, and if not properly taken care of, can lead to a lot of heat loss during the winter months. We’ll give you the full details on how to insulate your windows for winter and why it’s important. We will also provide tips on whether or not this is a DIY project that you can do yourself, or if you should contact a professional.
When should you insulate windows?
The best time to insulate your window frames is before the cold weather arrives. When you insulate windows in your home, it seals in the warm air and keeps your home comfortable all winter long. However, if you haven’t had a chance to do it yet, don’t worry – you can still insulate windows well into the winter.
Window Insulation Materials
Window insulation is a simple and effective way to save money on your next energy bill. There are many different types of materials that you can use, such as shrink-fit film or spray foam. Installing any of these treatments has an initial expense that you will recoup over time due to the improved energy efficiency of your home.
Window films work to reduce solar heat from passing through the glass in the summer months and retain heat during the winter months. They come in large pieces and can be cut for your specific window size, so it’s an easy do-it-yourself project. Simply place some double-sided sticky tape on one side of the film and then place the film around the interior window frame. Be sure not to stretch the film too tight because there needs to be space left between film and glazing panes where air or thermal infiltration occurs naturally.
A cheaper method of insulating with window film is using bubble wrap or plastic shrink film. Bubble wrap is inexpensive but can hinder the ability to see out of your windows.
The great thing about caulk is that it’s inexpensive and easy to apply. All you need are some tools, like a putty knife or paint roller. Caulk will prevent air from coming through these cracks during times when temperatures change quickly.
Weather stripping is an easy and effective way to prevent drafts from entering your home. It can be applied in a variety of ways, but will always leave no residue or mess when removed. When placed on movable windows weather stripping prevents unwanted external air from getting inside while still allowing you the ability to still open your window and let fresh air in during the nice weather months, but still keeping your indoor temperatures warm.
Spray foam is a great option to insulate windows effectively. It should only be used in certain areas such as large or accessible gaps around the frame of the window since the foam will expand to fill the space. Spray foam can reach areas that you can’t always reach by hand especially if you use a long nozzle. When using spray foam, make sure you purchase low expansion foam to protect areas you don’t want the foam to stick to. Since spray foam can expand rapidly and can be difficult to control, a low expansion foam will help keep the area clean and from expanding too far beyond the wall cavity.
Draft stoppers are an affordable and easy way to block the gaps under doors and window sash or frame. They’re also good for soundproofing and you can get creative and make your own. Keep hot air in, cold out, and lower energy costs.
Other Window Treatments
You can also consider removable magnetic window insulation or thermal curtains. Insulating your windows with magnetic window insulation is easy to apply and all you have to do is attach magnetic tape to insulating vinyl which you will fit around your window’s frame. The vinyl you use will be similar to window film but is a vinyl material that you will cut to fit your window.
Thermal curtains are easy to install and can be purchased at any department or home store. Keep reading to learn more ways to insulate windows in your home.
Insulating the Exterior Window
For this step by step, we will talk about how to successfully insulate the exterior side of your window using caulk.
First, check the weather and make sure you’ll have dry weather for at least 24 hours and a temperature at or above 45 degrees. You want to give the caulk ample time to dry.
Next, you will scrape away any old caulk, peeling paint, or debris around the existing window by using a strong putty knife. Use a wet rag to wipe the surface clean and allow it to dry before applying the new caulk.
Finally, load your caulk gun with silicone caulking that is specifically for exterior projects. When applying it around the window frame, hold your caulk gun at a 45-degree angle to get in the cracks sufficiently. Make sure you apply a solid stream of caulk all the way around the window to not miss any cracks or gaps. If any caulk seeps out of the crack you can use your putty knife to gently push it back in.
Plan to start this project as early in the day as you can so you can let it dry overnight. Make sure to check the outside temperature overnight.
Insulating the Interior Window Frame
The second type of insulating we’re going to talk about is using weather stripping on the interior side of the window frame. This is a simple application that can be done in a short period of time.
If you’ve noticed that your weathering stripping is worn, it’s time to replace it. The good thing is, this is an easy process and can be done with little to no tools. First, you will want to pull up the old weather stripping. If you’re old stripping is adhesive you can easily pull up the old from the frame. If it was attached with nails, you’ll need to pull the nails out first with a hammer then pull it away and toss it in the trash. Wipe down the window frame with a damp rag to clear away any adhesive residue or debris and let the area dry.
Next, you’ll measure the sash of your window and cut your weather stripping the same length. Once you have the stripping measured and cut, you can lay it around the sash. Peel off the adhesive backing and carefully press it to the fame as close to the end of one side of the sash as you can. You can strengthen your efforts by adding window film as well.
Benefits of Window Insulation to Keep Cold Air Out
There are many benefits to insulating windows in your home. Not only will it help keep the cold air out, but it can also help:
- keep your home warm in the winter by creating an insulating barrier
- reduce energy bills and trap your home’s heat
- block out noise from outside
- help protect furniture and flooring from fading in direct sunlight
So, if you’re looking for a way to keep your home warm and cozy in the winter and save on your energy bills, be sure to insulate windows in your home. You can do it yourself or call Energy Monster today for a free assessment. We’ll help you find the best window insulation solutions for your home so you can stay comfortable all year long – without breaking the bank! (855) 627-7674Return to Blog