The heating system is one of the biggest consumers of energy in a typical home, so anything that can help you turn down the thermostat can save you money on energy bills. One of the most effective ways to keep your home comfortable without having to turn the heat up is to make your windows less drafty. In today’s article, Renewal by Andersen® of Eastern NY, a window replacement expert, will explain how you can do this. We’ll discuss how to use draft snakes, cellular shades, weatherstripping, and more.
These methods are quick and affordable, however, they aren’t the best solution for homeowners who have a persistent issue with drafts and high energy bills. We will also discuss our replacement windows and explain how they can make your home more energy-efficient and comfortable.
1. Draft Snakes
A draft snake is a fabric tube that you place under a door or window sill to prevent cold air from entering through the gap. Draft snakes are particularly useful for homeowners who have older homes where the door and floor don’t quite match up, leaving a big gap. Draft snakes are also a popular winterizing option because they are cheap and easy to make a DIY project.
You can make a draft snake by taking a tube of fabric that fits the width of the door and window, and then filling it with dried rice. This is a popular filling material because it keeps well and produces a surprisingly heavy draft snake. However, you can also use cotton balls, scraps of cloth, or shredded packing peanuts. Draft snakes can insulate the window sill or the gap under a door, but remember that it won’t insulate the frame or glass. You can replace your current windows with Renewal by Andersen of Eastern NY’s energy-saving windows or combine draft snakes with other winterizing options.
2. Cellular Shades
A cellular shade is a good option for homeowners who want to insulate their home while still letting light in through their doors or windows. You can order custom cellular shades from home and design centers so they’ll fit your doors and windows perfectly. However, keep in mind that cellular shades can be expensive and they will probably insulate less compared with heavier curtains that block out the sunlight.
To install cellular shades, you’ll need to decide on your installation method. You can pursue either an inside mount or an outside mount. Then you will need to measure the door or window. Remove any existing drapery or curtain hardware and then mark the bracket positions for the cellular shade. Mark the screw hole locations, bore pilot holes using a drill, and then attach the mounting brackets. Check the brackets for level, clip the shades, and then test the operation of your cellular shades.
Self-stick rubber weatherstripping is effective and affordable. It also causes minimal alterations to the appearance of your doors or windows. You just have to cut long strips down to fit the dimensions of your doors or windows and then peel and stick the weatherstripping to the frame to close any gaps and to keep out cold air. However, be careful when peeling away the rubber strips in the future. Removing old weatherstripping can damage paint or leave a sticky residue.
4. Window Insulation Film
Window insulation film is another affordable way to winterize your windows because one kit is usually enough to cover four to five windows. A window insulation film kit typically has a plastic shrink film that you can apply to the indoor window frame using double-stick tape. Then you can use a hair dryer to shrink this film and remove any wrinkles. Be careful when installing insulation film. A poor installation can cause a window to look cloudy.
To install window insulation film correctly, measure each window you plan to insulate and get extra window tape just in case. Wipe down the trim around the window and the sill with a damp cloth. Wait for them to dry and then apply the tape to the window frame and leave a one-inch border from the edge of the frame. Open the kit and lay the plastic sheeting on a dust-free and flat surface and then cut it so that it extends five inches on each side of the original window measurements.
Peel the paper from the double-sided tape across the top of the window. Take the cut plastic, pull the sides taut, and press it onto the taped frame. Make sure that it frames the window with the five inches of excess on each side. Work your way down and peel back the tap in 10-inch increments on each side. Use a hair dryer and run it over the plastic and then trim the excess plastic on each side of the frame.
5. Insulated Curtains
Layered or insulated curtains will keep out drafts. In addition, some insulated curtains have a built-in thermal backing which can help a bit with heat transfer through the doors or windows. Insulated curtains can be matched to your home decor and can make your doors or windows look better. The thick fabric also blocks out sunlight. However, getting insulated curtains for all the doors and windows in your home can be expensive. You might also prefer natural light for your interior, so this solution isn’t for everyone.
Benefits of Renewal by Andersen Replacement Windows and Patio Doors
All of these methods work best if the windows in your home are in good condition and are not that drafty or old. If your windows are excessively drafty and old, we instead recommend replacing them with our products. Our replacement doors and windows are much more energy-efficient than ordinary patio doors and dual-pane windows. They have High-Performance™ Low-E4® glass that can block heat transfer and their Fibrex® window frames and engineered wood door panels have no cracks or gaps for cold air to enter.
Renewal by Andersen of Eastern NY is an official Renewal by Andersen dealer, which allows us to back our work and our products with one of the best replacement window warranties in the industry. We install all kinds of windows, including casement windows, picture windows, double-hung windows, bay windows, bow windows, custom windows, and more. Give us a call at (866) 479-1700 to learn more about our services and products. You can also fill out our contact form for a free estimate.