Preparing your windows and doors for the coldest time of the year will keep your home warmer and more energy-efficient.
With Marvin’s Windows and Doors headquarters in Minnesota, one of the northernmost points of the continental U.S., they understand the impact of cold weather, snow, and ice on a home and the importance of winterizing windows and doors.
The last thing you want in the winter is cold air seeping in and your heating bill sky high because of it. Preparing your windows and doors for the coldest months of the year will help keep your home warmer and more energy efficient. Here’s how to do it.
How to Winterize Windows
Prep. The first step is to clean your windows in the fall, which will help you identify any potential deterioration. Give windows and frames a thorough inspection and note any repair needs.
Check for drafts and gaps. Guide a halogen-type flashlight around your windows to look for areas where the light may be seen from the other side of the window. Be sure to seal any existing gaps with caulk, new weatherstripping, or foam. Keeping windows locked also closes up space where air can leak through.
Reglaze as needed. If your home has older wooden window frames, be sure to check for loose panes and missing sections of glaze. Reglaze the panes as needed to improve performance.
Consider if it’s time to replace old windows. Old or inefficient windows could have the same effect on your heating bill as leaving a window open all winter long. Replacing old windows with newer energy-efficient ones can help reduce your utility bill by keeping heat inside your home.
How to Winterize Doors
As you may have guessed, winterizing your doors is the same as winterizing windows. Do a thorough cleaning and inspection in the fall, check for drafts, and check weatherstripping. In addition, keep doors locked whenever possible to ensure a tight seal and consider adding a draft guard or storm door in the harsher winter months.
Window Condensation in Winter
Don’t worry if you see condensation on your windows in the winter. Condensation is one sign that your windows are performing as designed and assisting with maintaining the temperature inside your home. To prevent sitting water, ensure your home maintains airflow and avoid blocking windows with heavy curtains, indoor plants or décor.
There are a few other ways to keep your home warm in the winter. If you live in an extremely cold climate or have single pane or drafty windows, a plastic window shrink kit can do wonders for keeping cold air out and warm air in. It also may mean it’s time to consider replacing your windows.
If your windows have curtains and/or blinds, open them while your home gets direct sunlight to let the light help warm your space. Be sure to close the curtains and blinds when it’s extra cold outside for an extra layer of protection.