Despite their size, windows can be responsible for up to 40% of your home’s heat loss. For us here in Florida, that means we’re leaking nearly half of our AC!
We believe that everyone should have the information needed to insulate their windows for the summer. This article lays out everything you need to know about how to insulate windows and why. Keep reading to decide whether or not this will be your next DIY project.
When Should You Insulate Windows?
The best time to insulate your window frames is as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the more air conditioning and money will leak out your home.
Keeping your home insulated is key to a comfortable summer.
There are no external factors like curing time or humidity that will prevent your windows from being insulated.
Window Insulation Materials
Both shrink-fit film and spray foam are popular materials for insulating home windows. Installing either of these treatments has an initial expense that you will recoup over time due to the improved energy efficiency of your home. The alternative is buying brand-new triple glazed windows.
Window films reduce heat from passing through the glass in the summer months and retain heat during the rare winter days. They come in large pieces and can be cut for your specific window size, so it’s an easy do-it-yourself project.
Simply place some double-sided sticky tape on one side of the film and then place the film around the interior window frame. Be sure not to stretch the film too tight. There needs to be space left between film and glazing panes where air or thermal infiltration occurs naturally.
A cheaper method of insulating with window film is using bubble wrap or plastic shrink film. Bubble wrap is inexpensive but can hinder the ability to see out of your windows.
The great thing about caulk is that it’s inexpensive and easy to apply. All you need are some tools, like a putty knife or paint roller. Caulk will prevent air from coming through cracks in your window made from times when temperatures changed quickly.
Weatherstripping is an easy and effective way to prevent drafts from entering your home. It can be applied in various ways but will always leave no residue or mess when removed.
When placed on movable windows, weather stripping prevents unwanted external air from getting inside while also allowing you the ability to open your windows. This way, you can let fresh air in during the nice weather months but still keep your indoor temperatures cool when needed.
Spray foam is another great DIY option to insulate windows effectively. But it should only be used in certain areas, such as large or accessible gaps around the frame of the window since the foam will expand to fill the space.
Spray foam can reach areas that you can’t always reach by hand, especially if you use a long nozzle.
When using spray foam, make sure you purchase low expansion foam to protect areas you don’t want the foam to stick to. Spray foam can expand rapidly and can be difficult to control. So a low expansion foam will help keep the area clean and stop the foam from expanding too far beyond the wall cavity.
Draft stoppers are an affordable and easy way to block the gaps under doors and window sash or frames. They’re also good for soundproofing. Draft stoppers make an excellent DIY project, so feel free to get creative and make your own.
Other Window Treatments
Removable magnetic window insulation or thermal curtains are both exciting alternatives to consider.
Insulating your windows with magnetic window insulation is the easiest method to apply. All you have to do is attach magnetic tape to insulating vinyl, which you then fit around your window’s frame. The vinyl you use will be similar to window film but is a vinyl material that you will cut to fit your window.
Thermal curtains are easy to install and can be purchased at any department or home store. Keep reading to learn more ways to insulate windows in your home.
Insulating the Exterior Window
For this step by step, we will talk about how to successfully insulate the exterior side of your window using caulk.
First, check the weather and make sure you’ll have dry weather for at least 24 hours and a temperature at or above 45 degrees. You want to give the caulk ample time to dry.
Next, you will scrape away any old caulk, peeling paint, or debris around the existing window by using a strong putty knife. Use a wet rag to wipe the surface clean and allow it to dry before applying the new caulk.
Finally, load your caulk gun with silicone caulking that is specifically for exterior projects. Hold your caulk gun at a 45-degree angle to get in the cracks sufficiently when applying it around the window frame. Make sure you apply a solid stream of caulk all the way around the window not to miss any cracks or gaps. If any caulk seeps out of the crack, you can use your putty knife to gently push it back in.
Plan to start this project as early in the day as you can so you can let it dry overnight. Make sure to check the outside temperature overnight.
Insulating the Interior Window Frame
The second type of insulating we’re going to talk about is using weather stripping on the interior side of the window frame. This is a simple application that can be done in a short period of time. Even better news, this is an easy process and can be done with little to no tools.
First, you will want to pull up the old weather stripping. If you’re old stripping is adhesive you can easily pull up the old from the frame. If it was attached with nails, you’ll need to pull the nails out first with a hammer then pull it away and toss it in the trash. Wipe down the window frame with a damp rag to clear away any adhesive residue or debris and let the area dry.
Next, you’ll measure the sash of your window and cut your weather stripping the same length. Once you have the stripping measured and cut, you can lay it around the sash. Peel off the adhesive backing and carefully press it to the fame as close to the end of one side of the sash as you can. You can strengthen your efforts by adding window film as well.
Benefits of Window Insulation to Keep Cold Air In
As you can see, there are many ways you can help keep your home cool during the hot summer months. But these methods are only effective if installed correctly. Otherwise, you won’t get all of the energy-saving benefits.
Make sure you get it done right the first time by calling Energy Monster for a free assessment. (855) 627-7674
We’ll help you find the best window insulation solutions for your home so you can stay comfortable all year long – without breaking the bank!