How to make your windows more energy efficient

Our windows are more than just a siphon for the sunlight. They are also responsible for allowing air into our homes, which can be a blessing in the humid summer months.

Once winter kicks in, however, they can also represent something of a hindrance. That’s why we’ve put together and the eco-friendliness of their homes in kind – without spending a fortune.

Caulk and weather stripping

Heat and cold are not only a potential problem when your windows are wide open. They can also seep in through the gaps between the sash, the frame and the glass.

Run your finger across your windows and check for even the slightest of a breeze. If you feel anything at all then your windows are not sealed tight.

Thankfully, this is a problem with an easy and practical (not to mention affordable) solution. Simply use caulk or weather stripping to seal the gaps and keep your windows tight and secure.

Draft blockers

Draft blockers (or draft stoppers) are another affordable and convenient solution. There are cloth cylinders that act as a physical barrier so when the weather gets chilly and you slam your windows shut, you can simply tuck a draft stopper onto the sill to seal off any leaks

Get your drapes out

Blinds might be the most practical choice for reducing heat from the sun but during the winter months, they are just not practical, particularly if you live in an area that experiences colder climates.

Window drapes and curtains, meanwhile, act as extra window insulation and can prevent heat from escaping your home, while also blocking drafts. They can also be opened up during the day to let those few hours of precious sunlight in. If possible, go for drapes that reach the floor as this will provide the most adequate insulation.

Film it

For a minimal cost, you can actually purchase a film for your windows that add an extra layer of insulation to the glass.

They are cheap and relatively simple to install and can even be purchased in ‘tinted’ versions if you get a lot of glare in your home. Be warned, however, that they can look a little messy if they are not installed properly.

Go double or triple glazed

Most modern homes will come with double glazing as standard, which consists of two panes of glass separated by a layer of air to reduce condensation, cut out external noise and keep warm air in.

Triple glazing essentially knocks it up a notch with a third pane of glass and whilst you can add an extra layer to an existing window, it’s a job that requires precise work and careful measurements, so you might want to get a professional window fitter involved.

Repair and replace

Of course, if you have a broken or cracked window pane then we’d always recommend having it repaired as soon as possible but if your windows are decades old then they might be frankly beyond saving. In this case, it might be better to go with a more long-term solution – window replacement.

Note, however, that just replacing a couple of windows might be more trouble than it’s worth as you’ll still be losing heat from other sources. So, if you’re going with full window replacement, it may be the more sensible option to take the ‘salt the earth’ approach and just have them all replaced.