Weatherproof Your Windows
Edited by Ian Gabriel T. Tolledo, Lynn, Eng
Winter season is soon upon us. Now you might be struggling to keep warm against the cold leaking in from your Windows. Worried about an increased electric bill? You may have a nice warm fireplace going and a nice heater, but if your Windows aren't properly weatherproofed, then you are wasting energy and money. Good thing there are simple ways you can use to stop the cold air from slipping indoors and making you splurge on electric bills. You won't need a maxed out heater during the winter season if you prepare. Windows account for as much as 35-40 percent of a home's heat loss.
Prepare your Windows
Before you begin weatherproofing, clean you Windows thoroughly, both outside and in. Inspect each quarter inch of the frame and repair any putty that has chipped or fallen out. Inspect the wooden frames for signs of rotting and replace them before the weather turns bad. Replace your Windows if there are cracks in the glass. You must do this for every window in your house. This will take a bit of time, but it is an excellent procedure to save you lots of money later on.
Be careful in choosing weatherproofing materials, as there are many counterfeit tools and products out there. Buy weatherstripping that is both self-adhesive and easy to install because you will need to fit it around your window to stop any cold air from seeping in. It will also keep warm air from going out of your home.
Go to your local hardware store and buy a special weatherproofing window plastic. It acts like another pane of glass when properly installed, keeping the heat for you and your family much better. You can also check out online sources for weatherproofing kits. Here's a link to the catalog: 
- 1Cut the adhesive vinyl strips to fit in the corners of the window. Cut the vinyl with sharp scissors (improper cutting can damage the strips). You should cut it long enough to extend at least an inch beyond where the sash ends when you close the Windows. The type of weatherstripping to utilize on Windows depends on the type the sash is made from. If it's the first time your window has been weatherstripped, vinyl or wood-covered window can be fitted with strip materials.
- 2Now remove adhesive backing from the vinyl and stick it in place. Put the metal strips in place, driving them deep so that the sash will not snag on them. Now flare out the open window ends of the metal V-channels using a putty knife to create a tight seal with sash.
- 3After securing the sash, wipe down its underside with a damp rag and wait for it to dry (usually takes about half an hour) then attach the self-adhesive vinyl foam to its edges around the underside. Remember that the surface must at least be 50 degrees for the self-adhesive strips to stick.
- 4Now its time to seal the gap. Do this where the top sash meets the bottom sash. If you have a double-windows, carefully raise the bottom sash a couple inches to reveal the lower rails. (This area is normally hidden.) Now seal it with V-channel weather stripping. If the top sash is stationary, try tacking the tubular gasket to the outside of the lower sash so it compresses slightly against the top sash when you close your Windows.
- 5You can now apply paint-able chalk around both the interior and exterior Windows trims. To smooth it, simply use a wet finger or put gloves on for less mess. You should use it on the non-moving parts of your Windows. Caulking inside is the best practice anyhow, because although exterior caulking is an important part of weatherproofing, it has no or little effect on overall electricity savings.
Why Weatherproof Windows?
Having the knowledge to weatherproof your own Windows will not only save you "a lot" of money, but will also make your house more comfortably warm as well. You won't have to worry about high energy bills either because no heat will be escaping from your Windows.
Tips, tricks and warning
- Weatherstripping means that you won't be able to open the Windows, although its unlikely that you will want to open them until the spring. Make sure that everyone in the house is informed about this, as some may force the Windows open and damage the window.
- Consider also weatherproofing other parts of your house, including the doors. A great deal of heat can be lost where the door meets its frames.
- If you don't have double pane Windows, then you'll need to do more to weatherproof the Windows properly.
- If you have old Windows, be sure that they are still in working condition to stand against weather conditions.
- Heavy shades or drapes can also help keep cold air from coming in and hot air from getting out.
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Recent edits by: Lynn, Ian Gabriel T. Tolledo