Improving the energy efficiency of your home’s windows doesn’t involve spending a ton of money on replacement windows if you don’t want it to. While some of the tips below are designed as temporary solutions in extreme weather, all the window energy efficiency tips are relatively inexpensive to complete.
If your goal is to achieve better energy efficiency in your home’s windows, follow the tips below.
Caulk The Windows
Outdoor heat and cold can enter your home through leaky windows. Gaps between the glass, sash, and/or window frame can cause your home to be uncomfortable and increase your utility bills. To seal leaks, buy a window caulk and apply a think bead of the sealant all around the window.
For best results, check the caulking every year to ensure it remains in good shape. Replace any caulking that has cracked or deterior4ated as needed.
Awnings reduce the amount of heat that enters your home during the summer. When placed on southern and western windows, you decrease the amount of heat by as much as 75 percent.
If you install awnings, make sure to choose a material that resists fading and mildew. Also, consider roll-up awnings if you live in a part of the country that has cold winters as the extra sun exposure can help heat your house on cold days.
Hang Window Treatments
Lined draperies, mini blinds, and pull-down shades all provide a measurable level of insulation in both the summer and the winter. Drapes provide the highest level of insulation both in keeping the summer heat out and the indoor heat in in the winter, whereas blinds and shades provide little protection from heat loss in the winter. A combination of thermal drapes and blinds or shades will provide the most energy efficiency.
Apply Tinted Window Film
Applying a tinted window film will reduce the solar heat that enters your home. It can be temporarily or permanently installed with both decreasing visibility a little bit. If you live in a cold climate, a temporary window film is best as it can be removed in winter to allow the sun to help heat your home. If you live in a warm climate all year long, permanent window film is ideal.
Use Storm Panels
Storm panels help stabilize the temperature inside your home. They come in a couple of different materials (plastic or polyethylene), although neither is completely crystal clear.
An alternative to storm panels is plastic sheeting. Many people purchase shrinkable plastic sheeting to cover their windows in winter. This is an inexpensive, temporary solution if your windows leak and you don’t mind not being able to use the window while it is in place.
You can install shutters on the inside or outside of your home to help improve the energy efficiency of the windows. Exterior shutters are a good choice because they don’t take up any room inside your home. Today’s exterior modern shutters can even be operated via remote control from inside your home.
If you’re looking to increase the energy efficiency of your home’s windows without having to dish out the cash for window replacements, try the tips listed above.