Keep It Warm This Winter
Winter is a rough time of the year, and it seems it’s always upon us before we are ready for it. When the cold hits full force, it’s never fun to find a draft in the house. This winter we’ve got some tips for any homeowners trying to save a little money on energy bills, and trying to keep the inside of their home nice and toasty. One of the ways warm air escapes the home is through leaks in your windows, so there’s no time like the present to see if there are any rooms at home that spur chills down your spine.
There are a few different ways to check a house for drafts. By far the easiest way to check is to button everything up, turn everything off and light an incense or match. The smoke will either float into the air, or escape through cracks where you will find the source of any drafts. Anywhere the smoke trails out of the home should be inspected for holes, cracks or places that should be sealed.
If you notice a crack in the caulking or any type of damage it’s a good idea to reseal the area. Start with the easy fixes and work your way up to the big stuff. It is simple to pick up some caulk and seal any areas that are leaking or could potentially leak. For example, the exterior of window framing typically has a gap between the edge and the siding. This is an easy area for warm air to escape your home, so caulking can seal the area and keep you warm!
The next small fix to sealing your windows is insulating them. You can use vinyl, weather stripping, and even try eat-shrink wrapping your windows. Weather stripping should be added to the sashes, and insulation to seal the entire window. You can purchase kits that easily seal your windows with as little as shrink wrap and hair dryers, but they have their cons as well. With most of these options, you won’t be able to open your windows until the spring so be sure to weigh your options. Another suggestion is for the installation of window treatments. Heavy thermal curtains can block the cold from getting inside your home, and various other types of window coverings are also very effective.
These fixes will work for temporary adjustments, but are not long-term fixes. If you have a bad draft and need a long-term fix, replacing your windows or adding storm windows will fix your problem more than these tips. A window draft can be a serious drain on your systems, and your finances. Ignoring them can drive up your bills and put unnecessary stress on your furnace and HVAC. Keep your house warm this winter, and insulate your windows so your furnace can take a much-needed nap!