Windows for winter

Coffee on a window sill

As the nights draw in and the temperature drops, it’s time to prepare your windows for winter. Many of you will already have installed double-glazing or even triple-glazed windows, while for some your historically characteristic windows are just irreplaceable. So, how do you go about making them winter-proof?

Simple but effective

Don’t just look at the windows, look at the curtains too. Winter winds bring some exceedingly nasty draughts and if your windows are prone to letting these in, take a look at what’s covering the windows. Swapping the light, airy Summer drapes for heavier winter velvets will go a long way to keeping the heat in and the biting cold wind out.

If curtains are not your thing and you are a blind type of person, then look no further than Honeycomb blinds. Research shows that these insulating air-filled structured blinds can “reduce your heating costs by up to 43%”, as well as give your room a stylish, clean look.

Window frames

Replacing the glass in windows can be a fairly arduous and expensive job, so it’s worth checking the frame to see if there are leak holes. By replacing or repairing the caulking, both inside and outside your window casing, you can prevent cold air burrowing its way through. Applying weatherstripping around the window can save 10-15% on your heating bills, but with the different types available it’s important to do a bit of research before you buy. The available types include –

  • Foam tape – Made from sticky backed foam, it’s best used on irregular cracks. Apply it to the top and bottom of the window sash.
  • Felt – Either bought plain or reinforced with a metal strip. Felt fits around the window sash. Only lasts a year or two.
  • V Strip – Also known as tension seal, made from durable plastic or metal, that when fitted into the sides of a double hung or sliding window springs into place.
  • Rubber – The tubes that press against the window to form a tight seal.
  • Vinyl – Attached to wood or metal strips, comes in various colours.
  • Silicone – Attached to a metal strip, requires tricky cutting and installation.

Insulating window film

This product provides a temporary alternative to double glazing, as it sticks directly to the window though it does have some disadvantages

  • The glass won’t be perfectly transparent.
  • Certain types of latches and frames make application difficult.
  • It can sometimes void a warranty on the window.

Bubble wrap

For a really easy, quick and fun solution to those wintery blasts, grab a roll of bubble wrap.

This simple technique has been used as a quick fix for greenhouse window insulation for many years, and it now seems to have carried over to household windows with ease. Although, the view from the window is widely obscured, the cost and simplicity of the application and removal makes it highly practical.

So, if you can’t or don’t want to install double glazed windows but don’t fancy freezing in the long winter months take a look at some of the alternatives.

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