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4 Tips for Sealing Drafty Windows in Your Home

When the winter comes on and the harsh weather starts to appear, it’s important for homeowners to make sure they’re prepared.

One of the worst winter culprits, in terms of letting cold air into the home, are drafty, improperly sealed windows. The nice, breezy windows that allowed air to travel freely between the indoors and outdoors in Spring and Summer may have helped decongestion in warmer months, but when the cold air starts to come in, these same windows can leave homeowners vulnerable to cold, damp, and increased risk of illness. Here are a few tips for keeping the cold air out in winter.

1. Use Plastic

One of the most cost-effective ways to seal air leaks in your home requires nothing more than a few sheets of durable plastic and a hair dryer. If you’ve tried everything to seal up those drafty windows and nothing seems to be working, create a barrier between the cold, trapped air and the indoors by placing a large sheet of plastic over each window, attaching it with a strong adhesive, and using a hair dryer to shrink the plastic down to size. This will create a hugging effect that will trap the cold air in and make sure nothing gets through the cracks.

2. Make Sure Windows are Properly Secured

This is a basic tip for most homeowners who know to secure their homes for the winter months. Before taking more serious action, make sure each window is secure in its place and is free from any damage or warping that might have occurred over the summer. In warmer, wetter months, it’s common for moisture to gather in the corners of windows and doorways, creating a build-up that can eventually lead to warping and wear over time. It’s crucial to make sure that none of your windows have been damaged before you begin to do the more serious repairs, like installing storm windows and screens.

3. Replace Screens with Glass

Many homeowners will switch from glass to wire screens in warmer months to make sure the outside air is able to circulate through the house. It can be easy to forget about this until the first cold snap happens in the fall. Replacing each wire screen with glass or a more heavy-duty storm window will save time and effort in the long run, and protects windows from incurring any future damage.

4. Update Windows Regularly

It never hurts to replace old windows somewhat regularly. Many windows, even those built for high durability, can only take so much wear and tear and need to be fixed or replaced within a number of years. Besides the obvious tells–cracks, moisture damage, warping–it’s easy to tell when a window has reached its capacity to keep out the elements when you find your electric bill going up in the winter months. Rather than putting more money into heating your home, consider taking your windows to get replaced or repaired to better protect your home against the harshness of winter.