For those of us living in cold areas, with strong winds and freezing temperatures, having proper insulation in our homes is of great importance because we may need to use a lot of energy to heat our homes, thus significantly increasing our electricity bill. What to focus on to remedy this lack of energy efficiency to save money?
Proper Window Insulation for Energy Efficiency
Doors and windows, obviously. People are advised to use all sorts of – more or less – aesthetically pleasing solutions to prevent the cold from entering the house as much as possible. Heavy curtains are installed to create an air-pocket between them and windows and keep the room warmer.
Draft stoppers are also an option which now comes in all sorts of shapes and designs. However, it’s windows that usually cause the most concern.
Caulking and Weather-stripping
These two are probably the most popular solutions for dealing with faults in window frames. They are both inexpensive methods, which don’t require much expertise, i.e. they are a perfect DIY project, even for the not-so-experienced.
You need to take into account the fact that you can’t use caulk effectively if the crack is wider than a quarter of an inch. Also, no matter how simple weather-stripping may seem, there are still some important things to consider before you choose the right type.
This increasingly popular and affordable film is simply applied directly to the window. Once it sticks to it, you’ll be given an extra protective layer, but you’ll also find your window less clear. This is probably something you can live with when it comes to certain windows, but you’re less likely to accept this solution for your living room windows.
Speaking of aesthetically less pleasing solutions, there are few that fare worse than this one. It was originally used in greenhouses, but it has found its way to many homes since then. Everyone’s favorite bubble wrap is applied directly (bubbles facing the glass) to a glass surface that has been sprayed with water. You may wish to use some adhesive tape to secure the installation.
The advantages of this method are its price, the time needed to install or remove it and the fact that bubble wrap does let plenty of sunshine in. When it comes to disadvantages, we have to mention aesthetics and the fact that you can’t really have a clear view through a window insulated with bubble wrap.
Installing Double Glazed Windows
Possibly the most expensive, though the most efficient method is installing new energy efficient windows. New technologies applied in window making have brought about better heat and sound insulation, as well as more affordable prices than ever before. However, if you can afford it financially, or you don’t want to replace your antique windows, you should probably consider custom double glazing window installation. Using state-of-the-art technology, experts can now add an extra layer of glass to original windows without having to replace anything.
Another very efficient, yet costlier option is to install storm windows, which would also provide an additional layer of protection to your windows. Similar installations are also applied in case of doors. The advantage of storm windows and doors is that, apart from providing thermal and sound insulation, they protect your glass panes from being damaged during inclement weather.
On the other hand, they can be visually obstructive, either from the inside or outside the house. Also, if mounted from inside the house, they are likely to create condensation between the regular window and themselves.
Whichever method you opt for, you’ll definitely improve the conditions inside your home and probably spend less on heating the place. The question is just how much you can invest and which method to choose. Asking a home improvement professional for help and advice might make it easier for you to make up your mind.