Wednesday, November 11, 2015

4 Tips to Ensure Energy Efficiency with your Windows & Doors this Winter

Something you may not know about me?

I know a lot about windows and doors because I worked for a window and door company for 8 years—actually writing help articles for the company’s website, etc. I loved the challenge of the job and I learned so much.

While this is totally different content than I normally share, I thought I’d share some simple and easy tips to eliminate heat loss this winter because I think most of us would love to save a little bit of cash on the heating bill! (Hello, more money for new clothes, amiright?)

These are very basic solutions for easy to fix issues. I hope you can find some use of this article!

4 tips to ensure energy efficiency with your windows and doors this winter

Disclaimer: I’ve used a couple of Amazon affiliate links when I mention a product. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission from the sale which helps keep this blog running.

1. Check Weatherstrip

If you have quality windows & doors, you will have some type of weatherstrip seal at all contact points on the product. It’s important that this weatherstrip is in good condition and making a seal.

What does this mean?

A simple way of putting it is that there is some type of material (rubber, foam, etc.) where the parts of the window/door (that open and close) meet when the window/door is in the closed position.

Simply open the window or door and check for tears or other signs of wear. If your product is old, it may be a good idea to install new weatherstrip for general maintenance.

It’s best to contact the manufacturer for replacement weatherstrip, but if you don’t know the manufacturer—you can also install a generic weatherstrip like the one shown in the photo—just make sure you use one that isn’t too thick as it could affect the operation.


2. Check Locking Operation

Locking your window or door helps seal it to prevent the outside elements from getting into your home. If it’s not locking correctly, you are probably also experiencing air or water infiltration.

Lock your window or door and try to move it, as you would when you are opening it (not too forceful!). If there’s a lot of wiggling going on, chances are your product is not locking as efficiently as it could be.

Simple Solutions: Make sure your lock is secured to the product and screws haven’t loosened over time. Make sure the lock isn’t actually physically broken.

Beyond that, it could be a variety of issues that are pretty dependent upon proper installation and adjustments—which vary depending on the manufacturer. At this point, you would be best to contact the manufacturer’s customer service department for help.


3. Check Alignment

French patio glass door

Many products, especially doors, have adjustments that can be made to maximize efficiency as you use them.

An easy way to check if your product could possibly need an adjustment is to check the reveal, which is the space between where the part of the window/door that opens and the jamb that it closes into.

If the product slides to open: open your window or door an inch or so and inspect the space from top to bottom or from side to side (depending on the orientation of the product).

If the product opens on hinges: leave the product closed and check the reveal (space) between the part of the product that would move if you opened it (window sash/door panel) and the jamb that it closes into (the part on the wall).

If the reveal is even (the same width of space), then your product is aligned correctly.

If the reveal is uneven (example: wide at the top, narrow at the bottom), then your product is not aligned correctly.

Lack of alignment can be caused by a variety of factors including improper installation or just the fact that the product has moved over time and use and needs to be adjusted. Contact the manufacturer for product specific adjustments.


4. Install Window Insulation Kit

Duck Brand 281506 Indoor 10-Window Shrink Film Insulator Kit, 62-Inch x 420-Inch

The fact is, if you have old windows—they probably don’t have weatherstrip and aren’t all that energy efficient. Unless you are ready to fork over the money for new energy efficient windows, you can make the best of the situation and install a window insulation kit. It literally only costs about $15 (on Amazon) to cover 10 windows.

While we have been slowly replacing old windows in our home, most rooms still have windows from the 1940s and it is difficult to keep the home warm in the winter. We have noticed that it does help keep the air out by installing this shrink film on the inside of the old windows in our home.


Did you find this article helpful? Do you have additional ways that you weatherproof your windows and doors for the winter? Please share in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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