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How to Improve Home Window Efficiency

I recently wrote about how roughly one-third of your cool air escapes through your windows. Windows make up a large portion of the perimeter of your home – about 15% - so it’s important to understand how your windows impact your energy consumption. Here are 10 simple steps you can take to improve your home window efficiency.

  1. Assess how well your windows are working for you. (Were they installed prior it 1980? Are there air leaks? What is the U-Value?)
  2. Apply Weatherstripping. Weather strips are used in parts of the window that move and are usually self-adhesive and easy to apply.
  3. Apply caulking at fixed joints, such as the intersection of the window frame and wall and the intersection of the sash and frame.
  4. Apply energy efficiency films (read more here).
  5. Replace your existing window treatments/curtains/drapes with thicker ones.
  6. Consider adding storm windows for an added layer of protection.
  7. Plant trees and shrubs (or put an awning) in front of windows that let in excessive amounts of sun.
  8. Replace parts of the window that are malfunctioning, such as hinges and locks.
  9. Tighten the hardware on the window including hinges and all other moving parts. This will make sure as little air leaks through as possible.
  10. Apply additional layers of glazing to the window on the outside to alter the total amount of heat that passes through the window.

If you are eager to save money on your energy bill but are on a tight budget, consider this DIY home energy audit.  It will take you about half a day and will walk you through your entire home.  There are many small improvements most of us can make to save big bucks over the course of a year.