5 Tricks to Make Old Windows More Energy Efficient
Posted on February 22, 2022
Posted in Windows
Your windows are one of the most important features of your home, from both an aesthetic standpoint and a functionality perspective. They can add to the beauty of your home, let in sunshine and fresh air, and if you have newer windows, keep your home more energy-efficient.
If your windows are energy efficient, they're keeping air from escaping your home which allows for better temperature regulation. This means using less AC in the summer and heat in the winter. But if your home has older windows, you might want to find a way to improve their energy efficiency.
Here's how to make old windows energy efficient:
1. To prevent air leaks, use caulking and weatherstrips.
The most cost-effective tools you can use on your older windows are caulking and weatherstripping. You'll need to first inspect your windows to determine if there are any gaps in the frame that are allowing air to escape. If the gaps are small, they can easily be filled in with caulking — which is best applied to the sides of your window, at the window joint, or weather strips. According to Energy Saver, installing weather strips can save you between 5-10% on your home's energy bill.
2. Install window inserts.
A window insert is a fully functional window that you install into your existing windowsill and trim. Inserts essentially create double-paned windows, which reduces the amount of air flowing out of your home. Window inserts are great if you want to maintain your older home's charm and keep your original interior and exterior frame. They're also incredibly durable and provide long-term savings on your energy bill.
3. Hang interior or exterior shutters.
Window shutters are coverings made of wooden slats that can be folded open or closed over a window's exterior. They offer a great way to reduce airflow in and out of your home. While you can install them both inside and outside of your home, installing them indoors tends to be easier because you can open and close them without going outside. Window shutters provide a nice decorative alternative for making your windows more energy-efficient, too.
4. Utilize solar window film.
Have you seen the sun reflectors that can be placed on your windshield to block the sun and keep your car cool? Solar window film is kind of like that, but less shiny. You can apply the film directly to your glass panes and it blocks about 35% of solar heat coming in. One great thing about solar film is that it doesn't have to be permanent if you don't want it to be! If you live somewhere with seasonal temperature shifts, you can apply the film in the spring and take it off in the fall. Blocking solar heat and UV rays keeps your home's temperature more consistent, which keeps your energy bill lower.
5. Add storm windows.
Storm windows are additional panes of glass that you can install right outside your existing windows. Storm windows give your windows and home extra protection against the wind and provide insulation against the weather. They also reduce airflow from your home, which cuts your heating and cooling costs.
What Window Materials are Energy-Efficient?
Now that you have some tips on how to make your old windows more energy efficient, you may be wondering if the material used in your window frame is efficient, too. These are the two most frequent questions we get asked:
Are wood windows energy efficient?
The short answer is yes — wood windows are energy efficient! Wood is considered to be an insulating material, so it helps regulate the temperature inside your home. That being said, wood does need to be checked and maintained more frequently, as it's more prone to rotting and water damage.
How can I improve the aluminum window?
If you are wondering how to improve aluminum windows, check for gaps. If you find any, fill them in with caulking and weather stripping. It's also important to keep the aluminum clean. The best way to clean aluminum is by using a solution that's one part white vinegar with one part water.
Making old windows energy efficient is possible using the above advice, but it's not as effective as replacing them entirely. That said, if you are ready to replace your windows, call our expert team today for a free quote!