Seal your windows and stay comfortable when there’s a chill in the air.
Many homes feel like big, drafty barns during the winter. It doesn't have to be that way, though. Make your house more comfortable by learning how to insulate old windows.
You could save 5% to 30% on your energy bill every year just by reducing drafts. Check out these DIY insulation ideas if new windows don't fit into your budget.
Curtains Like Warm Blankets
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, curtains can lower heat loss by 25% and reduce the draft in your home.
Think about hanging up thermal curtains. These drapes include a decorative layer, foam padding or flannel, and a back lining.
This design keeps heat in during the winter and cool air in during the summer.
Cellular Shades With Savings Sweeter Than Honey
Cellular shades can cut heat loss by 40% or more. What makes them different than normal window coverings?
Cellular shades have a honeycomb shape with layers of air between folds of fabric. The shape helps keep warm air in your home and cold air out.
Don’t Be Scared, It’s Just a Draft Snake
A draft snake goes at the base of your windows or doors. It blocks cold air from the gaps between the window and windowsill.
You can make your own draft snake a few ways:
- Filling a tube sock with dry rice.
- Cutting off an old sweater sleeve.
- Wrapping insulating material in a pillow cover.
Peel and Plop It Down With Rubber Weather Sealant
Rubber weather sealant is a peel-and-stick insulation. It's a simple and inexpensive way to cover the gaps around old windows.
The sealant sticks to your window frame, so you won’t be able to open the window until you remove the insulation.
Roll Out the Shrink Wrap
Family Handyman suggests buying a window insulation film kit. Apply the plastic insulation with double-sided tape and shrink-wrap it around your windows.
Drop Your Storm Windows
Use storm windows if you have them! Closing them during the winter offers extra protection from cold air and drafts.
Doing this could eliminate 10% to 20% of heat loss through your windows.
Use More Bubble Wrap
Bubble wrap isn't just for packing.
According to move.org, it's a great way to insulate old windows. Cut your bubble wrap to the appropriate size and secure it with double-sided tape.
Recaulk Your Window Frames
You probably have more than a few gaps around your window frames. Take some time to go around your home and reseal these gaps.
Even if you've recaulked recently, it's worth checking. Caulking can deteriorate and crack over time, allowing cold air into your home.
When to Invest in New Windows
DIY solutions don't always work.
For the sake of your comfort and safety, you should buy new windows when:
- Your energy bills are very high after several window repairs.
- The wood molding around the windows is rotting and falling apart.
- You have trouble opening and closing the windows.
Are you thinking about selling your home? Turn a blemish into an attractive feature by replacing old, battered windows.
The next owner will appreciate the visual appeal and lighter utility bill.
You want to stay warm, but even the best heating system can break down.