How To Make Existing Home Windows More Energy-Efficient
If your home's windows are older, you probably already know they aren't as energy-efficient as they could be. In fact, all it takes is one afternoon sitting by a drafty window to realize, without a doubt, that some of your heating and cooling costs are floating right out that window. While replacing the windows may be the best way to combat this problem, the reality is that this not always a cost-effective option. Here are five other solutions you can use to make your older windows more energy-efficient.
1. Seal the gaps
Most windows, especially older windows, have areas that are not sealed well. Finding and sealing these gaps is the first step in making your windows as energy-efficient as possible. However, finding the leaks and gaps is not always easy. They are often invisible to the naked eye, but are quite large in terms of the amount of air that can escape.
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends a visual inspection first, looking for areas where you can see light around the window frame. This may be easier to detect at night, shining a flashlight around the window and looking for light leaks. You can also use a stick of incense, held close to the window. Watch where the smoke flows to see if you can spot leaks.
Once you find leaks, use caulking or weather stripping to seal them. This will instantly make your windows more efficient.
2. Install double glazing
Double-glazed windows have two layers of glass separated by a layer of air. This helps keep warm air in the home and cold air out. It also helps reduce the amount of noise from the outside, and reduces indoor condensation. Older windows may not have double glazing.
Adding a layer of glass to an existing window is possible. It takes precision and careful measurement, but is cheaper than upgrading and replacing all windows in your home.
3. Upgrade the window frames
Installing energy-efficient window frames is cheaper than replacing the entire window, and can go far to improving the efficiency of your windows. Choose window frames that have the Window Energy Rating Scheme (WERS) label. A rating of 5 is the most efficient rating. With a new, more efficient window frame, your windows will let less air out of your home.
4. Purchase upgraded window coverings
Window coverings don't make the windows themselves more efficient, but they can block some of the drafts and help your home stay warm and comfortable. Choose heavy curtains — even thermal curtains — for the best effect.
To ensure that curtains do the job effectively, you must use them properly. First, make sure they are hanging to where the bottom is below the ledge of the window. This will allow the curtains to trap as many drafts as possible. Second, make sure you close (and open) curtains at the best times of the day. For the most efficiency, close your curtains at night, when temperatures drop and drafts are more prevalent; open them during the day when the sun is out. The sunlight coming in through the window will create a warming effect on the home, even if the windows are drafty.
5. Install window film
One of the best ways to upgrade your windows is through energy-efficient window film. Window film provides another layer on the window, can help reduce the effects of convection and conduction, and can make your home's windows more efficient overall. In addition, if you choose solar control window film that blocks infrared and ultraviolet rays, you can not only reduce the amount of heat gain but also protect your skin and valuables on sunny days. This coating can be helpful for homes that tend to get uncomfortably warm when the sun is out.
As you can see, old windows can be more energy-efficient. These steps don't take much time or cost too much money, and they can make a big difference on your energy bills. If replacing old windows is not in the budget, consider these five steps to improve your home's comfort and efficiency.
Author bio:Rachel Min is Director of Marketing at Rayno Window Film. Since Rayno’s beginning, Min has played a leading role in promoting Rayno’s brand, products, services and benefits of window films.
All posts, sponsored and un-sponsored have been reviewed and approved by the Sustainable Community Media Editorial Team to ensure quality, relevance/usefulness and objectivity.