Spring is officially here. Although warmer temperatures are on the way, spring breezes will create chilly mornings and evenings. Unfortunately, if your windows are drafty, you’ll definitely notice those blustery blasts of air and see a higher monthly energy bill. If drafty windows are a problem you are struggling with, you’ll be happy to know that you have several options available for fixing it. Here’s a quick look at what you can do.
Replace your existing windows.
The most effective way to get rid of that draft for good is by removing the old, leaky windows and replacing them with new vinyl replacement windows. In addition to no longer having to deal with the cool air, today’s energy efficient window options will help you cut your monthly heating costs. They will also improve your home’s aesthetic appeal and overall value. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you’ll save between $126 and $465 a year . That means the new windows will eventually pay for themselves. At the same time, window replacement is one of the home improvement projects that add the most value to your home .
If you’re not quite ready to commit to new windows, there are a few temporary fixes you may want to consider.
Opt for thermal shades or a draft snake.
If the draft isn’t too bad yet, thermal shades will allow you to block out enough of the wind to keep it from drastically reducing your indoor temperatures. A draft snake (also known as a draft dodger or draft stopper) is a cheaper alternative that can be purchased at most hardware stores. Simply place the tube-shaped pillow at the base of your windows. It blocks the air from coming between the bottom of the sash and the frame. Unfortunately, this won’t help much if the air is coming in at other places.
Cover the windows with a plastic shrink film.
While they may not create the look you are going for, plastic shrink film insulation kits will keep the cool air out and are surprisingly easy to put in place. These kits come with everything you need to cover your windows, including double-sided tape that will hold the film in place until you use a hairdryer to create an airtight seal. Again, this is a temporary fix, but it will get the job done until you decide to replace your existing windows.
You may already have weather-stripping in place. If you do and it isn’t working, replace it. Weather-stripping is available as a v-channel, felt, or foam tape. It’s easy to use and offers plenty of draft protection. The only drawback is it can make your windows more difficult to open and close.
Caulk or seal the cracks.
Although it does degrade over time, window caulking or foam sealant is a good short-term option. Use caulk if the draft is coming through cracks smaller than 1/2 inch. It can be applied directly from a squeeze tube or larger jobs will require a caulk gun. If your cracks are larger than 1/2 inch, you’ll want to use a spray foam, which tends to hold up better. The negative to caulk and spray foam is you won’t be able to open your windows.
Now that you know some of your best options, it’s time to decide which one works best for you. If you’re ready for vinyl replacement windows, give Vinyl Design a call. Our authorized dealers will install the right windows for your home. Then you can enjoy those spring breezes when you want and keep them out when don’t want them.