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During the winter months, your heating system will kick in, working hard to keep your home warm and comfortable. While in summer, the cooling system of your home only has to work to lower the temperature of your home by fifteen to twenty degrees, the winter months are much harsher. Many homes that are consistently exposed to subzero temperatures must have heating systems that keep the inside of the home up to seventy degrees higher than the outside air. A heating system must work even harder when the home is not effectively insulated. Experts agree that the biggest source of lost energy during the winter months is through windows that have not been efficiently winterized. Windows that are drafty, damaged, leaky or cheap can cause energy bills to be up to fifty percent higher than homes that are equipped with well-designed and properly winterized windows. If you need to cut back on energy costs this winter, start by tackling those drafty windows.
Energy Efficient Windows
The very best way to save energy this winter is by installing energy efficient windows. These windows are specifically designed to keep cool air in during the summer and cool air out during the winter. Energy efficient windows that have an Energy Star recommendation are capable of reducing winter heating costs by up to forty percent. The energy efficiency of a window comes in its pane design and the way it is installed in the window frame. Only professional installation of energy efficient windows can guarantee the energy saving effects.
If you cannot afford a new set of windows this winter, there are still easy ways that you can personally protect your home from leaky windows.
Protecting Against Leaks
The most common cause of heat loss through windows comes in the form of leaks. If there are leaks around a window, cold air will seep in which hot air is rushing out. Because warm air rises, the windows on the top floor of a home are at a greater risk of allowing warm air to escape the house. You can easily locate leaks by lighting a candle and holding it near the seams of a window. If the candle flame flickers, cold air is rushing in at that location. You can locate the leak and fix it with window caulking or weather stripping for a temporary fix. After the winter months have passed, you can hire a professional to replace leaks and cracks in the areas around your house's windows.
Cleaning Storm Windows
Storm windows are often huge culprits of heat loss during the winter months. If the area around a storm window is filled with debris, the window will not shut effectively and heat will definitely escape. You should begin the winterization process by cleaning out debris from window tracks. If a track is damaged or bent, you can repair or replace the track to be sure that the window fits snugly into place. Use window caulking or weather stripping to temporarily fix leaky places. Be sure that all storm windows are shut tightly during the winter months.
Applying Protective Plastic
For an added measure against cold temperature, you can apply shrinkwrap or heavy plastic to the outsides of windows to prevent cold air from seeping through the glass. Glass is porous which means it is actually filled with thousands of tiny holes. Windows that are not specifically designed to be energy efficient will allow cold air to seep into a home. By applying shrinkwrap or heavy plastic sheeting to the outside of the window, you can add another layer of protection against the cold weather.