If you want save energy at home, you need to spend more time looking at your windows rather than out of them. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, about 33 percent of winter heat loss occurs through windows and doors. Use these tips to counter inefficient windows and keep heat in during the winter.
Dress Your Windows
Thick curtains or drapes not only add to a room’s décor, but they also reduce heat loss through the windows. On bitter cold days and during the night, pull the drapes tightly over the glass to insulate against cold outdoor air. Be sure to open the window coverings wide on sunny winter days to take advantage of natural light and heat.
Seal Air Leaks
Cracks may form in the building materials around the window, including where the frame meets the wall. This paves the way for air leaks. Nip them in the bud by filling developing cracks with caulk. You can also replace worn out weatherstripping on operable joints to help the window create a tighter seal when it closes.
Install Plastic Films
Glass is not an effective insulator. To improve the efficiency of your existing windows and sliding patio doors, cover the glass with plastic film. This transparent film is inexpensive and nearly invisible when installed correctly.
To install plastic films, first remove the blinds and any moveable handles or cranks used to open the window. Clean the surface where you plan to attach the plastic film. Affix double-sided tape around the interior of the window frame, remove the backing and attach the plastic to the adhesive. To help create a tight, nearly invisible seal covering the glass, run a blow dryer over the entire surface, starting on the edges and working your way in. Trim away the excess and you’re left with plastic-covered windows to get you through the winter.
Replace the Windows
As effective as these above tips are for keeping heat in during the winter, they’re not enough for very old, single-pane windows. If you’re tired of high heating bills, lower them forever with a quality window replacement.
The most efficient windows have two important qualities. First, they help prevent heat from escaping in the winter. Compare U-factor ratings and choose replacements rated at 0.30 or lower for the best performance in the winter.
Second, efficient windows help prevent solar heat gain in the summer. While you’re worried about heating bills now, remember that cooling bills dominate Southern California homeowners’ utility costs. Compare solar heat gain coefficients (SHGCs) and choose windows rated at 0.30 or lower for the best summertime performance.