Heating bills are expected to spike this winter—so any way you can control costs helps. The first thing you should do is look to your windows.
Did you know that between 25-30% of your home’s heat is lost through inefficient windows? If your home has older windows and you don’t want to shiver through another winter, you’ve got two options: you can replace your windows—but at an average cost of anywhere from $375-$800 per window, that’s an improvement that’s out of reach for renters and many homeowners—or you can make improvements to increase your window’s efficiency and stop the drafts.
We’ve rounded up five easy (and cheap!) ways you can cut window heat loss and make your home more comfortable this winter:
1. Open and Close Drapes and Blinds Throughout the Day
Did you hang your window treatments and then forget about them? If your drapes and blinds are purely decorative, you’re missing out on the opportunity to save some money. Make it a habit to open window treatments first thing in the morning to let the sun shine in and warm your home during the day; once the sun sets, close curtains and shades to keep cold air out and give your windows an extra layer of insulation. If your rooms are really drafty, you could hang insulated thermal drapes to create a thicker barrier between window glass and your living spaces.
2. Weatherseal Your Windows
Check window frames for old, cracked, or missing weatherstripping that could be letting in drafts and replace it with new weatherstripping. Use Frost King Removeable Weatherstrip to temporarily seal areas on your windows where you can’t put permanent weatherstripping—such as where the upper and lower window sash meet. It seals the gap and dries clear so it’s not visible. When spring rolls around, just remove the weatherstripping, then throw open your windows and let the fresh air in.
3. Lock Your Windows
Need an easy fix? Help your windows work their best by locking them every time you close them: you’ll get an air-tight seal and cut down on outside drafts.
4. Keep Windows Clean
The dirt, dust, and grime that builds up on your windows isn’t just blocking your view: it’s also blocking the sun’s light and heat from your home during the day. Check out this blog post for easy, step-by-step directions for sparkling clean windows. (And if you leave your window screens in year round, this might be the year you start removing them for the winter: leaving them could be blocking as much as 30-40% of the heat that would be coming into your house through your windows.)
5. Install Window Kits
The easiest way to winterize your windows? Frost King’s Window Insulation Shrink Kits feature a crystal-clear plastic sheet that shrinks tight and wrinkle free with an ordinary hand-held hairdryer. These energy-smart window insulation kits can be easily installed on metal, painted, varnished wood, or vinyl-clad window frames to provide low-cost insulation that reduces heat loss by as much as 35%. Here’s how to install them:
• Start by dusting and wiping down your windows with a microfiber cloth, then wipe down the area where the window film will stick with isopropyl alcohol.
• Apply the double-sided tape around the perimeter of your window, then peel off the paper backing to expose the adhesive all the way around.
• Attach the plastic sheet by starting in the top corner, leaving a few inches of overhang. Working your way down and across, continue to attach the plastic to the adhesive, pulling to keep the plastic taut.
• Once the plastic is secure, turn your hair dryer on to the highest setting and blow the plastic from the top down until it’s clear and tight.
• Use scissors to trim the excess plastic around the window.
Watch this video for step-by-step instructions: