Now that we’re entering the autumn season, it’s only a matter of time before the brisk days will give way to downright chilly temperatures. Windows play an important role in regulating the temperature of your house in the winter, so it’s important to make sure they are in good working condition before cold weather arrives. Well-maintained windows prevent your HVAC system from having to work too hard, which saves you money and is better for the environment. Here’s how to prep your windows for cold weather:
- Inspect, clean, and remove screens. Choose a warm fall day to check the screens on your windows. Look for holes and tears, warped frames, and rotted casing. Replace or repair the screens as needed and give them a thorough cleaning while you’re at it. Consider removing your screens for the winter months as well. Screens can get damaged in snowy and windy weather. Removing screens also allows your home to absorb more heat from the sun, which allows you to save on energy bills.
- Clean the windows. Before the cold weather kicks in for good, clean your windows one last time for the season. Use a glass cleaner to clean the inside and outside of windows, and a mild cleanser to clean the frames and window wells. Make sure that you remove all dirt and debris that may have accumulated on the windows, as this can prevent it from fully sealing.
- Check for drafts. Next, inspect each window for drafts. This can be done by using your hand to feel for air or by holding a flame or piece of toilet paper up to the window to if it wavers. You can also place a piece of paper under a locked window and try to pull it out. If you can remove the paper, the window seal is not tight enough. For a more science-based test, use a thermal leak detector or contract with a professional to conduct a home energy audit.
- Insulate windows. Should a draft be present, you’ll need to insulate your windows. Check the caulking around the windows and replace it with new caulk as needed. Weatherstripping can also be used to seal gaps around the window. Consider your window coverings as well; heavier curtains can help to maintain the interior temperature.
- Lock all windows. The last step of preparing your windows for the winter is to lock them. Windows perform their best when they are not just closed but locked as well. This creates a tight seal that prevents warm air from escaping the house and cold air from entering it. If any locks are broken, now is the time to fix them.
If your home is still feeling cold in the winter after prepping your windows, it may be time to replace them. Atkinson’s Mirror and Glass offers a wide range of new and replacement window options to meet your needs. To learn more, call us at (208) 375-3762 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you.