When you think of Minnesota winter, what comes to mind? Perhaps images of sitting down with loved ones over a warm cup of hot cocoa or gathering around the fire. Maybe you imagine our beautiful Twin Cities blanketed in pristine, glistening snow.
The holidays are just getting started, but before long, the Twin Cities will be decked out in holiday splendor, and we’ll all be grabbing our warm winter coats. But with all of that winter cheer, many homeowners also end up with climbing energy costs and cold, drafty living spaces. In this post, your Minnesota window installation team at Window World Twin Cities will talk about winterizing your windows and how we can help you stay warm all winter long.
Getting a Home Energy Audit
If your home has hot and cold spots, drafts, or high energy costs during the winter or summer months, you may be in need of improvements to your home’s windows or insulation. Before you can make those improvements, you need to find out exactly what is causing your home to be inefficient. That’s where having a team of home improvement experts with experience in energy audits comes in handy.
A home energy audit is an assessment of everything that could be causing your home to be less energy-efficient. When an energy audit is performed, an inspector will walk through your home room by room and locate every area where your home may be losing heat. The goal is to determine how tight your home’s thermal envelope is and look for any existing gaps, cracks, or other points of air infiltration before making recommendations.
Benefits Of Winterizing Your Windows
While winterizing your windows might sound like an extra step you don't want to worry about, it's worth it in the long run. In Minnesota, especially, you want to ensure that your home is protected from those harsh winter temperatures and storms. And, windows that aren't well sealed can lead to drafts, moisture problems, and more. If you aren't sure if it's worth the process, consider some of these benefits of winterizing your windows.
Increased Energy Efficiency
One major pro of winterizing your windows is that your home will be more energy-efficient over the wintertime. This improved efficiency means you'll likely save money, so even if it costs a little to go through the process, it will quickly pay off. If drafts aren't leaking into your home, it will stay warmer, and your heater won't have to work extra. This is good for both the environment and your wallet.
Reduced Chance of Moisture Issues
Windows that aren't properly sealed can let in moisture. During winter snow and ice storms, windows with old weather stripping or improper seals can let in droplets of water. This can accumulate around the window and lead to ice and wetness. Of course, this isn't a good thing as it could damage the walls and insulation around the window. Fixing your walls and insulation can be expensive, and you could even mind up with mold problems.
What Winterizing Your Windows Includes
Winterizing your windows simply means taking important steps to make sure there are no drafts or points of air infiltration impacting your home’s energy through the windows. If your windows have only minor problems, it may be possible to take a few simple steps to make them more energy-efficient. However, if your windows are very old or drafty, it’s most likely time to replace them altogether.
Here are a few simple steps to winterizing your windows.
Update the Caulking Around Your Windows
Before you take any serious steps to alter your windows, take a look at your caulking. Often, old caulk surrounding your windows can end up damaged and cause air leaks and drafts around your window.
Begin this process by removing all of the older caulking from around your windows. This can usually be accomplished by locating a loose piece of caulking and peeling it away carefully. Next, you’ll want to clean off any debris or dust, so the new caulk is applied to a completely clean and clear surface. Finally, apply a continuous layer of caulking around the entire frame, carefully avoiding creating any gaps during the process.
Add Weatherstripping to Your Windows
After you’ve updated the caulking around your windows, it may also be necessary to apply weatherstripping. Weatherstripping is applied to your window sash and is available in several varieties. Whether you choose to apply tubular weatherstripping or use an adhesive backing comes down to individual preference.
The most important thing to be certain of is that you’ve used the appropriate size to make sure everything is covered adequately. You’ll also need to make sure your windows are completely free of dirt or debris before you apply your weatherstripping as this can interfere with adhesion.
Add Some Form of Window Covering
Having a covering of some type over your windows goes a long way in insulating them, especially in an older home. Adding thick curtains will significantly limit the air that passes through your windows into your living space. You can also apply thermal curtains or drapes depending on the amount of insulation you require.
When Winterizing Isn’t Enough
If you’ve gone through all of the above steps and your home is still drafty, or you find your energy bills are much higher than anticipated, it may be time to replace your windows. Going through the steps of winterizing your windows should give you a pretty good idea of the condition your windows are in.
During this process, it’s likely that you will realize your windows are in need of much more than a simple layer of caulking. If this is the case, instead of completing the winterizing process, spend your efforts in deciding which windows you wish to replace yours with. This will make the best use of your financial investment, and you can put your energy into winterizing your new windows instead.
Contact our Window Installation Professionals Today!
If the thought of your wintertime energy bills leaves you feeling a little cold, now is an ideal time to update your windows with new window installation. At Window World Twin Cities, we offer a wide range of window solutions to suit any style and budget. We can help you decide which look will work best for your home’s energy needs, as well as its architectural style.
Find out more about our window installation solutions by calling our Window World Twin Cities window installation pros today. Call us at 651-770-5570, or contact us on the web to find out more about our window options and schedule an energy audit.
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