Windows are wonderful. They allow light in, give your home depth, provide a view of the outside and can change the feeling of a room from a dark, soulless cavern into a cheery space. The amount of windows you have can directly affect your home’s curb appeal and therefore, resale value. They are very important.
With these benefits come some tradeoffs. Windows are common leaking points and are frequently a source of lost heating and cooling energy.
Are you talking about the drafts?
Yes, but what you’re feeling is probably not a draft like you think. When you sit near a window in your home on a cold day, you can feel the cold air that builds up nearby. This is not usually because of gaps in your window (although there may be some small gaps).
This is because the insulation value of the window is much lower than that of your wall or roof and cold permeates through. When you have this cold surface in your home, it cools the air around it. Cold air falls and it feels like you have a draft.
Oh, so you’re going to tell me I need new windows.
Not necessarily. You might, but there is one tip in particular that can help reduce that feeling of draftiness and it doesn’t cost an arm and leg.
Plastic window wrap.
Using one of these kits isn’t a kind of home accoutrement that will win you a home decoration award from Architectural Digest, but many people swear by plastic window wrap as a way to keep energy costs down by keeping the cold out.
It’s very simple, too. By installing a plastic wrap over a window (and this works best for older windows), you cut down on the heat loss through the pane.
How does it work?
It acts by trapping a pocket of air against the window. Since air is a decent insulator, keeping this air in place (and not letting it run down your wall) keeps a lot of the warmer air that would mix with that air from
What does it cost?
A typical window insulation kit runs about $15 and will work on five windows.
How much does it save me?
Glad you asked. It will easily pay for itself over the course of just one winter. Various estimates state you’ll save $20 per window, but you can check your own situation by using the 3M energy calculator here. 3M is a high quality manufacturer of window film.
The colder the climate, the worse your windows, the fewer the panes of glass (single vs double) and the more windward exposure you have, the bigger the savings and the faster the payback.
It must be a pain to install, right?
Actually, it’s about 15 minutes per window. If you can use a tape measure and a hair dryer (yes, a hair dryer) you can battle the cold at your windows.
If you have any more questions about your home, keeping warm in the winter or anything at all, feel free to get ahold of the Pros at Pro Home Improvement at 888-776-1998.