Toddler Leaning On Window Looking At Snow

10 Ways To Winterize Your Windows

Carey Chesney3-Minute Read
December 28, 2020

The weather outside is frightful but being prepared is so delightful!

Looking to make sure you can stay warm and cuddly inside while you “let it snow” outside? Time to winterize windows. Understanding how to get your home ready for cold weather is a critical part of feeling safe and sound through the colder months and one of the most important parts of that process is winterizing your windows.

Keeping your home as warm and possible and saving on that energy bill are the two key benefits to tackling this very manageable project.

Replace Cracked Or Broken Glass

Start with a trip “through the looking glass” by inspecting all the windows in your home for cracked or broken glass and replacing all damaged panes. Even if the windows are crack-less, consider replacing them with newer energy-efficient ones if they have a lot of years under their belt.

Caulk To Seal Windows

Using caulk to seal or reseal windows from the outside elements is cheaper and easier than you may think. Be sure to scrape off the old caulk first and then use both hands as you take the caulking gun along the edges of the window as the caulk dispenses in a smooth and uniform manner.

Weather Stripping

Weather stripping is the application of a strip of material to cover the joint of the window and the sill, casing or threshold so as to exclude rain, snow and cold air.

This is frequently done in conjunction with caulking.

Install Storm Windows

Usually stored in the garage or attic during the warmer months, storm windows can prevent winter drafts from entering the home, especially during extreme winter weather. Once the months of wintry mix have passed, storm windows can be removed and replaced with screens to allow those warm summer breezes to fill your home.

Window Insulator Kits

At about 15 bucks, a window insulator kit provides an inexpensive, quick, easy solution to drafty windows. These involve a clear insulating film that can be applied with your hands and then sealed with a hair dryer. Wondering which one to buy and where? Here is a good place to read reviews and purchase the best window insulator kits

Install Cellular Shades

Cellular shades, also known as honeycomb shades, block light and insulate windows. These can be a great way to keep in the heat and cut down on energy costs. Another benefit is that they can be used as a year-round window treatment through all the seasons, not just in the winter.

Add Insulation To Windows

Spray foam or batt insulation (fiberglass insulation manufactured in sheets or rolls) can also be added behind windows to protect from cold weather.

To apply spray foam, prep the area by removing dust and debris, shake the can for 60 seconds, pull the trigger on the can and begin application. After about 15 minutes, gently press the expanded foam into the gap with a putty knife. Easy peasy!

To apply batt insulation, cut the insulation roll or batt to fit the space, fit the insulation in, fold out the paper flange along one side of the insulation and then position the flange flat against the side face of the wall stud. Again, easy peasy!

Attach Thermal Window Drapes

Thermal window drapes are a bit more expensive than the previously solutions mentioned, but they are very effective at keeping heat inside during the winter. They do this by creating a dead-air space between the window and the room, which reduces the amount of air infiltration and transfer of heat.

Reinforce With Additional Locks

Double-hung windows can go a long way in reducing energy costs, as they insulate better than older windows. By putting in an additional sash lock on double-hung windows you can make them even more secure, resulting in keeping even more of the cold air out. Measure your window before buying the new sash locks, space them out evenly, then simply drill holes and screw them in.

Seal With Bubble Wrap

Using bubble wrap to seal your windows should really only be seen as a temporary solution, but if you are running out of time this can be an effective last-minute fix. To install, cut a sheet of bubble wrap to a size slightly smaller than your window glass, spray a thin film of water onto the window glass and then apply the wrap with the bubbly side toward the glass.

Summary: Don’t Wait To Winterize

From inexpensive DIY solutions to pricier projects, the ways to winterize your windows are plenty. Whatever you decide to do, don’t underestimate the importance of winterizing windows early in the cold season to avoid high heating bills or window damage. When the windows are ready for the cold, consider other ways to prepare the rest of your house for winter to ensure a cozy, stress-free season.

Carey Chesney

Carey Chesney brings a wealth of residential and commercial real estate experience to readers as a Realtor® and as a former Marketing Executive in the fields of Health Care, Finance and Wellness. Carey is based in Ann Arbor and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he majored in English, and Eastern Michigan University, where he recieved his Masters in Integrated Marketing & Communications.