Caring for Your WindowsThat sunny view through your window can come at a price. Windows are a common source of energy loss in all seasons. Here are tips for caring for them to achieve better home comfort and reduced energy bills.

Seal the Leaks

Air leaks are very common around window frames. These gaps, even the small ones, allow hot air from outdoors to infiltrate your home in summer and allow heat to escape your home in winter. The effect on your comfort and your energy costs is probably higher than you might think.

Check the caulk around the interior and exterior side of window frames at the beginning of each new season. Look for cracked or crumbling caulk and new gaps that might have developed. Replace old broken caulk with new caulk. You can find caulk removers, smoothers, and other caulking tools at most hardware stores to make this job a lot easier.

If gaps around frames are too large to remedy with caulk, use an expandable foam sealant created for use on doors or windows.

Next, check old weatherstripping to make sure it’s still intact and forming a tight seal. If you use foam weatherstripping, consider upgrading it to a better quality type, such as aluminum or vinyl. You’ll need to replace it less often, and these materials tend to be more effective at sealing air leaks.

To add even more protection against air leaks, install storm windows. These offer energy-efficient benefits that more than make up for the initial costs.

Reduce Heat Gain

Air leaks are not the only cause of heat gain or heat loss through windows. Heat also travels easily through the glass and the frame. The following solutions will help you reduce cooling costs in summer and heating costs in winter:

  • Use insulating window treatments, such as solar drapes and energy-efficient curtains.
  • Install retractable awnings.
  • Install window shutters.
  • Add energy-efficient storm windows.
  • Apply low-e window film to glass.

For more information about window maintenance and other ways to save energy, please contact us at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about caring for windows and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.

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