If you live in an area that gets cold during the winter, chances are you need to know how to keep cold air from coming through your windows, especially around your windows’ edges. Luckily, there are several different ways you can go about doing this without breaking the bank or paying someone to do it for you.
The most basic method to temporarily seal windows is to use caulk if you are not planning on opening the windows in winter. The biggest advantage of using caulk is that it’s cheap; however, you can only fill cracks and small gaps. Other widely used temporary methods to keep cold air from coming through windows are weather strips, window film, door snakes, and insulated curtains. A more permanent solution is to invest in double-glazed windows.
This guide will walk you through these several different methods and offer recommendations on which ones will best suit your needs and the needs of your home.
Why is it important to seal windows?
The first thing that many people do when fall arrives is to switch on their central heating system to keep their home at the perfect temperature. But what if your windows aren’t sealed properly or are generally not very good at keeping out the elements? If that’s the case, it doesn’t matter how many degrees you turn up your thermostat – you won’t feel the benefit!
Sealing the gaps in your windows can drastically increase energy efficiency in your home. During the winter months, sealing your windows has two major benefits. First, it prevents warmth from escaping into the outside air, saving you money on heating costs. Second, it keeps cold air out during winter storms that can leave your home flooded with an icy wind. Moreover, it prevents rain, moisture, dust, and even bugs from entering your home while keeping the energy bill low.
How to identify if your windows are not properly sealed?
When your windows aren’t properly sealed, you may notice that your HVAC isn’t working as well as it should be or that you’re experiencing higher-than-normal electric bills. Remember that your windows not being sealed can lead to more serious issues. Some telltale signs prove your windows aren’t properly sealed.
If you see condensation on your windows or water dripping from them, there’s a strong chance that your windows aren’t properly sealed. It also indicates that they might not be energy efficient, either. Plus, moisture can create mildew and mold, among some of the worst air pollutants. If you think your windows may be leaking, perform a visual inspection using the flame method or consult an expert to look for the source of the leak.
How to insulate your windows?
If you’re struggling to keep the cold air out of your home this winter, take these simple steps to block it from coming through your windows. By sealing your windows against the cold, you’ll maintain a more consistent indoor temperature in your home, resulting in more comfortable living conditions throughout the year. With these 11 ways to keep cold air from coming through your windows, you’ll be on your way to warmer nights and lower bills.
The first, easiest, and most effective solution is to caulk cracks. Caulking cracks in your windows, doors, and walls will close any gaps and keep cold air from coming in. However, caulk degrades sooner than other sealing solutions making it a temporary fix for window cracks.
It would help if you examined the caulk in your windows after a few months to repair any small gaps in areas where its stickiness has been compromised. In case of bigger areas where caulk has been rendered ineffective, you’ll have to remove all the caulk and apply new in its place.
There are various caulks on the market that can do a good job of stopping drafts; some will last longer than others, so be sure to choose one that has good reviews or ask your local hardware store which is best for your area.
2. Door snake
Snake draft stoppers are a simple and effective way to keep cold air from seeping through your windows. These weighted fabric tubes filled with polyester are usually placed at the bottom of the doors to prevent cold air from entering any gaps. But you can effectively use these soft draft stoppers to stop air from creeping through the gap between the window sash and sill.
Made with cotton fabric, they’re flexible enough that you can open your window fully without removing them. You can easily make a snake draft stopper at home by sewing a long tube of soft fabric according to your window’s width and stuffing it with polyester fiber, or you can roll a soft towel and use it as a draft stopper.
3. Install new door sweeps
Even a tiny air gap underneath the door is the same as letting a small hallway window open. Inspect your door’s weather stripping and door sweep for any signs of damage when the weather starts to get colder. Slipping in a new door sweep or adding weather stripping will prevent cold drafts from creeping in from under the door and keep your home warmer all winter. Replacing worn weather stripping is a relatively easy DIY project that will keep you warmer in winter and save you on heating bills all year.
4. Seal around the frame with weatherstripping
Make sure your windows are double-paned, as single-paned windows will allow cold air in. But even if you have double-paned glass, it’s a good idea to install inexpensive weather stripping around your window frame—especially if there’s an air gap between your woodwork and the actual window panes. Weather stripping helps seal out both hot and cold drafts.
Also, several varieties of weather stripping are available, so you can choose one that comes within your budget and fulfills your needs. These include felt, V-seal, and expanding spray foam weatherstripping. The rubber material of these weatherstripping helps seal windows and doors effectively.
5. Apply foam tape
It is a quick and cheap temporary solution to seal cracks that bring in cold air. Foam tape can be found at hardware stores and home centers and is effectively used as an alternative to weatherstripping. Put a piece of foam tape along your window’s cracks—this is especially important if you have single-pane windows, which tend to leak air more than their double-pane counterparts.
Once applied, a strip of foam tape will prevent cold air from seeping through your cracks, making it easier to heat your room and saving on energy consumption. The downside is that you won’t be able to open the windows, so use this as only a quick fix and find a more permanent solution to seal your drafty windows.
6. Insulate unglazed windows with plastic film
It’s easy to use plastic film to make your windows more energy efficient. Plastic film or shrink film provides a tight seal between the window and its frame so that cold air cannot come inside. Plastic shrink film is readily available in home improvement stores. To seal your windows with plastic film, apply it to the windows using double-sided tape covering all the area, including the window frame. Then use a hair dryer to shrink the film and attach it firmly to the glass.
It is a long-lasting solution for keeping the cold air out and the home’s warmth inside. It reflects light and heat in the direction it comes from, so it’s an ideal method to keep your house at the optimal temperature by preventing the heat and light from coming inside. While it is an effective airtight method to insulate windows, it gives a cloudy feel to the windows so many homeowners would like to go with something more discreet.
7. Use storm stopper windows
During colder months, it would be nice if a cold breeze didn’t blow in through a crack in one of your windows. Fortunately, storm stopper windows are designed to provide heavy-duty seals around their perimeter to help keep out cold air and noise.
These lightweight windows with aluminum frames and weather-resistant glass are fixed at the outer side of the window casing. It works as an additional insulating layer to prevent the cold air from entering through gaps in the window. It is a more permanent method of window insulation and is considered an investment instead of a solution to the drafty windows.
8. Use nail polish for small cracks in glass panes
Any cracked window panes should be replaced as soon as possible to avoid accidents. Meanwhile, you can use nail polish to seal small cracks in glass panes for a temporary solution. Apply a fresh coat of clear nail polish to the crack and let it dry. Once it dries, you won’t even notice that there was an imperfection. Plus, it will also prevent the crack from developing further.
9. Use insulated curtains
When finding solutions to seal the gaps in the windows, it’s not surprising that most people don’t pay much attention to window treatments. Window curtains can make a huge difference in stopping cold air from finding its way into the room.
Moreover, curtains are an affordable way to protect your home from cold air, but your sheer summer curtains will not be of any service here. Thick curtains prevent air movement while adding to the aesthetics of the interior décor. So, look for curtains with insulating properties to replace your summer curtains. Simple thermal curtains, which use insulated fabric that helps keep heat inside, are your best bet. They can block out drafts and retain heat, making them a highly efficient tool for staying warm in winter. You can find these at most home decor stores.
They may sound like something you only need if you live in a place that gets cold, but they are also effective in summer to block heat from entering inside and keep the air conditioning more effective.
10. Re-glaze windows panes
If you have wooden windows, you may want to reapply glazing putty around the glass panes to make the windows airtight. Glazing putty can wash away with time, making the glass panes lose and creating gaps for air infiltration. So, re-glazing before colder months is necessary to make your windows sealed.
You can easily re-glaze the window panes by following the manufacturer’s instructions and taking the necessary precautions. You’ll need some basic equipment to reapply glazing putty, such as a heating gun, glazing putty, putty knife, etc., and you are good to go.
11. Install new double-glazed windows
Old, warped, and cracked windows can lead to unnecessary energy loss. Replacing them with new energy-efficient windows will keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Double glazed windows, also known as double-pane windows or insulated glass units (IGUs) provide better insulation compared to single-pane windows. These windows have air pockets between the panes that help in diffusing heat transfer, which makes them more energy efficient. Moreover, they don’t let outside noises in, providing a comfortable living environment.
Installing these energy-efficient windows can reduce your annual heating and cooling costs. Double glazed windows are the best option to keep cold air from entering your house as their double panels prevent the cold air from sneaking indoors.
We live in a world where windows and doors constantly surround us. Unfortunately, some of these windows aren’t as airtight as they should be. It can lead to drafty rooms that let cool air in during winter. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to make sure your home stays warmer in winter and cooler in summer without having to resort to expensive window replacement. Read on for seven tips on making your window seals more effective and efficient.
Winter still seems to seep in no matter how well you seal your windows. If you want colder months to be more enjoyable, add a dash of warmth with these tips for keeping cold air from coming through your windows. From weatherstripping and caulking to window film and curtains, here are 7 ways to keep cold air from coming through your windows.