Winter is coming, literally. ‘Tis the season for hot cocoa and snuggling but ‘tis also the season for high electricity bills caused by cranking your heater up high. Well, you can set the heater on low and wear layer upon layer of clothes or walk around wrapped with a blanket.
Don’t fret, though. There is another way. You can check your windows to see if they have been properly winterized. Winterization is the process of preparing a particular object for winter.
Windows are the culprit behind the 10% to 20% heat loss of a house. An unprotected single-pane glass window can lose as much as ten times more than an insulated wall.
It’s time to do something about this phenomenon and save yourself some dough. Here are some easy and cheap tips to winterize your home’s windows using materials that can easily be bought at the hardware store.
Close Your Curtains
One of the most natural methods of window winterizing is using curtains to stop cold air from coming in. Closing your curtains and lowering the blinds right after the sun sets can offer additional protection against the winter chill. This minimizes heat loss and reduces the need for using the high setting on your heater.
If you’re using a curtain, you might as well find something that suits your style. Check out the 12 big curtain design trends of 2018 for inspiration.
Use Insulating Window Film
Window films come in kits and will cost you somewhere around $10 to $20. The kit includes the film and some double-sided tape. Prevent the cold draft from coming inside your home by applying the film to your windows. Here are the steps:
- Before you start putting the film on, make sure that the pane is clean and dust-free.
- After cleaning, put the double-sided tape around the frame.
- It’s best to stick the film to the top first, then move slowly towards the bottom, and end at the sides. This way, it’s easier to keep the window film tight across the window.
- Leaving an extra half inch of film over the edge of the tape is recommended.
- Lastly, use a hairdryer to shrink the film and erase the wrinkles.
Buy Some Bubble Wrap
Another technique is to apply bubble wrap on top of the window pane. Purchase a piece that’s large enough to fit over your window without needing to piece it together. Piecing together small packets of bubble wrap can create unnecessary gaps between them and defeat the purpose of insulation since it still allows cold air to rush past through the spaces. To apply this:
- Spray a bit of water on your window.
- Place the wrap with the bubble side down.
- Grab some sticky tape and seal around the edges.
Be mindful of the tape that you’re using because it could damage the paint on your window frame or the wall.
If you want something more permanent, use caulk to fill in little gaps surrounding the window’s edges. One way to find these gaps is to have someone stand outside with a hairdryer. Inside, hold a lit candle towards the area where your friend is blowing air. If the fire dies, then there’s a gap, and that’s where you should put caulk.
There’s also another type of caulk called rope caulk. It’s called such because it is in the shape of a rope which you can separate and put into any large spaces around the window. Remember, caulk does not keep the glass pane insulated, but it is ideal for covering the edges.
Seal It With Rubber
Another inexpensive way to insulate the edges is by using rubber sealant. It is less conspicuous than caulk since it comes in a transparent shade. Similar to caulk, you can use this to seal any gaps or spaces around the window frame. Be aware, though, that removal can leave a sticky residue or damage the paint.
There are easy and cheap ways to go about window winterizing. You need to figure out what works well for your home and whether you want it as a permanent fixture or as a temporary solution to the cold winter air. Also, if you’re renting, don’t forget to ask your landlord if the modifications you want to do are allowed.