After a long, hot summer, the moderate temperatures of fall are more than welcome. But it won’t be long before some bitter cold fronts come sweeping in from Canada, leaving the Twin Cities under a blanket of frost. Once that winter weather starts to hit, your HVAC system will be truly put to the test.
If you spent last winter dressed in layers of sweaters and shivering in a home with a less-than-optimal heater, you know the importance of winterizing your home. But winterizing is about much more than finding and eliminating unpleasant cold drafts. In this post, your team of home improvement contractors at Window World Minnesota shares some important advice on getting your home ready for the coming cold season this year.
Conducting an Energy Audit
Before you begin looking at options for winterizing your home, consider starting out with an energy audit. An energy audit can help you identify any deficits in your home’s thermal envelope or the protective layer of warmth around your home. An energy audit evaluates the ability of your home to retain air rather than letting warm air to flow out of your home, creating cold spots and icy drafts that can leave you shivering.
When we conduct an energy audit, we focus on determining points of air infiltration throughout your home. Our goal is to identify problems with your home’s insulation as well as gaps and cracks that could be a cause for concern.
Here are a few strategies we may suggest after conducting our audit:
1. Replace your windows with energy-efficient solutions.
2. Update your home’s siding with insulated siding.
3. Replace your front door with a more insulated entry door.
Installing an Insulated Glass Package
With our Energy Star Qualified SolarZone insulated glass package, we combine highly insulating argon gas, Low-E glass for UV filtering, and a Warm-Edge spacer system. The combined result will increase your home’s energy efficiency and help you to save money in the long run.
Better temperature regulation in your home also means your HVAC system won’t have to work so hard all winter long. When your system has to work extra hard to keep up with the bitter cold of winter, it can end up needing repairs much sooner. With a better glass package, your system will work better and last longer, saving you money and headaches.
Winterizing Your Windows
Siding updates and window replacement are two of the most effective ways to winterize your home. But once you’ve replaced some of the biggest offenders, it still might be a good idea to take a look at your windows and make a few minor changes. Most of these can be accomplished in a short time while still giving you the winter protection you need to keep your home and family safe through the coming season.
All of these ideas can help protect your home’s thermal envelope:
1. Install Insulated Curtains
Adding a set of curtains to any window in your home will instantly help to eliminate drafts. But insulated curtains can be even more effective at keeping your home warmer on even the coldest days. Cover not only your home’s windows but your entryway door and any other doors as well. You can pick up thermal curtains in almost any size and even have them customized to fit your specifications.
2. Add Insulating Window Film to Your Windows
Window insulation film is an affordable and simple way to help boost your window’s overall performance this year. Like shrink wrap, window film shrinks into place over your windows once it is applied using double-sided tape and a hair dryer. Apply the shrink film and then use a blow dryer to shrink the film into place, removing wrinkles as you go.
3. Refinish Your Window Seals
In most cases, drafty windows are caused by a problem with the window’s seal. Fortunately, this is a pretty easy problem to fix, at least in the short-term.
When window sealant is first applied, it is at its most durable, but it can lose its effectiveness over time. That’s why it’s important to reapply sealant when your windows have begun to allow air or water infiltration. Simply strip away the existing caulk and refinish the seal.
4. Block Door Cracks
Door snakes are fabric tubes that can be purchased commercially to cover any cracks in the bottom of your home’s exterior doors and laid across window sills. They can also be easily made using countless tutorials available on the web.
5. Work With Your Windows
Even if you’ve installed thermal curtains and sealant, you can still take further steps by working with your windows to maximize your home’s comfort level. Solar energy is like having a constant heat source outside of your home, and you can easily take advantage of this by keeping your thermal curtains open during the brightest daylight hours. When the temperature drops in the evening, close them again to maximize your home’s internal comfort level.
Call our Window Replacement Contractors for Energy Star Replacement Windows
If you’re tired of layering your socks and blankets to try to reach a basic level of comfort in your winter home, it’s time to make a change in your home. Let our team of professional window installers at Window World Twin Cities help you lower your monthly energy costs and keep your family more comfortable this year with updated windows and doors.
Use our Design Center to decide which looks work best for your home. Then when you’re ready to connect with a member of our Window World Twin Cities window installation team, call us at 651.770.5570, or contact our window installation team to learn more.
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