A Homeowner’s Guide to Window Winter Preparation: Repairs, Weatherproofing, and Insulating Treatments
It’s only natural to crank up the AC or heater when the seasonal highs and lows call for it, but effective climate control goes beyond temperature settings. While a blast of warm air can keep the winter cold at bay, the long months of freezing and below zero temperatures call for longer-lasting protection from the cold. One of the most common ways cold air manages to slip through the cracks and cause a slight chill even when the heater is cranked all the way up is through the windows.
Many homeowners forget about weatherstripping and other window treatments when preparing for winter. Because of this, they’re constantly cold even when they’re supposed to be warm and toasty at home and safe from the harsh, sub-zero temperatures. This winter, it’s time to stop living with the cold all the time—start fortifying your windows and prevent the chill from slipping through the cracks:
Check the Windows
Did you close the windows? Some cracks aren’t so outwardly visible and can be the source of cold air entering your home. That’s why your winter preparation should go beyond keeping windows closed when the temperatures start to drop.
Look for Signs of Damage
To prepare your windows for the winter, thoroughly inspect them. Check their structural integrity: are there cracks, broken glass, and other gaps? For windows made out of wood, look for signs of rotting or decay, as these affect the structural integrity and can cause an entire frame to collapse and create holes in the wall.
Book a repair right away to restore windows to ideal conditions. Replaced or fortified windows can withstand harsh winter temperatures and maintain comfortable indoor temperatures with additional insulation.
Foggy windows block both a nice, uplifting view of the outdoors and urgent road or surrounding conditions you need to see and prepare for. Condensation forms because moist, warm air comes in contact with dry, cooler air, which is a function of increased humidity.
To prevent condensation build-up throughout the winter, you can leave a window or door open for a brief period every day or use a dehumidifier or exhaust fan to improve air circulation. Consider replacing window screens with storm windows since these can withstand strong winds and other seasonal elements. You can leave storm windows open to let air circulate without the risk of damage.
Weatherproof Window Frames
Keeping the windows closed after repairing damage or replacing screens with storm windows isn’t enough: winter is tough, and preparing for it requires additional insulation.
To effectively eliminate cold drafts and prevent heat from escaping, make sure to caulk all windows. Use weatherstripping to seal gaps and spaces around windows and doors, and replace last year’s broken or worn-out ones.
For maximum insulation throughout the winter, prepare your windows by adding insulation made of plastic sheets to cover or wrap them. Window wrap kits include heat-shrink plastic sheets that you can heat into position over desired locations.
Install Energy-Efficient Replacement Windows
Depending on the age and wear-and-tear of your windows, new weatherstripping, caulking, and insulation may not be enough for winter preparation. For severely damaged windows, extensive repairs may cost more than replacements.
Instead, consider replacing damaged windows with energy-efficient models. These double- or triple-pane windows help insulate your home effectively, so indoor temperatures remain consistent and comfortable throughout the year. Energy-efficient windows reward homeowners with energy savings, as there’s less need to crank up the heater or AC to stay comfortable throughout the changing seasons.
Install Energy-Efficient Window Treatments
Curtains, shades, and blinds do more than spruce up your home’s interior design and accentuate windows; they also maintain comfortable temperatures by adding a layer of insulation. Installing the right window treatments should be part of your annual winter preparation, as their added warmth and security contribute to energy savings.
1. Cellular shades
These versatile window treatments are great all year long, but they’re especially helpful in the winter because they provide a thick barrier between the windows and your home’s interiors. Cellular shades seal warm air in and block cold air from entering, so you remain comfortable indoors as the temperatures continue to drop.
They achieve this through their honeycomb design, which creates air pockets between the glass and your home’s interior, effectively sealing in the warmth. For effective winter preparation and utmost warmth in sub-zero temperatures, consider double-cell shades because of their added insulation.
2. Roman shades
A close cousin of cellular shades, this variety features a thicker material and sealed edges for keeping out the winter cold. Switching to Roman shades is a good way to prepare for the winter because their thermal backing creates a soft, comfortable feel that’s both insulating and aesthetically pleasing.
3. Plantation shutters
Though typically associated with rustic interiors and summer days, plantation shutters still provide adequate winter insulation. That’s because they feature fewer gaps, especially when the louvres are closed, which seals warmth in and blocks cold air. Plantation shutters come in vinyl and wood varieties, providing natural, energy-efficient climate control against the harsh temperatures outdoors.
4. Solar blinds
Homeowners want to limit UV exposure from long days of sunshine in the summer, and turn to solar blinds to shield their home’s interiors. However, did you know that solar blinds function well year-round, even in the winter? Installing solar blinds is a smart way to prepare for the winter cold; these can be reversed to filter out damaging UV rays and generate heat as a passive solar collector. This way, they block out the icy cold and absorb sunlight that radiates warmth indoors.
5. Insulated curtains
On the simpler side of window treatments and winter preparation, there are also insulated curtains and draperies that can be easily installed over window panes. Typically lined with insulating fabric, these curtains can be hung up on their own or in combination with other window treatments like blinds and shades for increased warmth, privacy, and utmost flexibility for light filtering.
Insulated curtains also come with magnetic strips sewn into their edges, creating a tight seal around the window frame to block cold air from entering. Curtains and drapes can also be changed to match your home’s interiors and seasonal decor, so it is warm and comforting throughout the seasonal extremes.
To learn more about essential winter preparation for your windows and the best treatments for comfortable, energy-efficient insulation against the harsh cold outdoors, call Window Blinds Direct at 647-360-7026, or contact us here for a free in-home estimate.