If you live in Colorado, you know one thing is for certain, winter is coming. It’s often brutally cold, and with the rising costs of fuel, that means your energy bill can skyrocket. To keep your home warm during the winter months, and save money, one of the best things you can do is to winterize windows and doors.
Don’t Overpay Utility Companies!
Homes, both old and new, often have gaps around doors and windows. These cracks and openings are the predominant sources of heat escaping your home and can add up to one-third of your overall energy bills. If you neglect to winterize your windows and doors, you could be paying a lot more. Don’t do that!
Consult with our experts at SoCo Wood and Windows to winterize your existing windows and doors. Or even better, replace them and upgrade to one of our award-winning Energy Star-qualified products. Download our guide to learn more.
Weather-proofing Options to Winterize Your Windows and Doors
When it comes to weatherproofing your home, one of the most important things you can do is to seal around your doors and windows. This will help to keep out drafts and prevent moisture from getting inside. There are a few different ways to seal. No matter which method you choose, it is important to make sure that you apply it correctly. If you don’t, it will not be effective and could actually end up causing more damage than it prevents.
- One option is to use weatherstripping. These are strips of material that you can install around the edge of your door or window. It will create a seal that will help to keep out the elements.
- Another option is to use caulk. This is a thick, paste that comes in a tube, and applied to the gaps around your doors and windows. You can find it at your local hardware or home improvement store. It will fill in any gaps and create a seal that will keep out drafts and moisture.
- Finally, you can also use sealant. This is a substance that you can apply to the outside of your door or window. It will create a barrier that helps to keep out the elements.
If you’re not sure how to apply weatherstripping, caulk, or sealant, there are plenty of instructional videos and articles online that can show you how. Or, you can always hire a professional to do it for you. By taking the time to do it correctly, you can help to keep your home comfortable and dry all year long.
Weather Stripping Materials
One of the best ways to insulate your windows and doors is by using weather stripping. Weather stripping is a material that you can apply to the edges of your doors and windows in order to seal off any gaps or cracks. It comes in many different materials and can be used in combination for the best energy saving results. It is also important to make sure that the material you choose is compatible with the types of doors or windows you have.
There are a few different types of materials that can be used for weather-stripping a door. Some of the most common include:
- Foam tape: Foam tape is a popular choice for weather-stripping because it is easy to install and provides a good seal. Choose a tape that is the right size for your door.
- Brush seal: A brush seal is another option for weather-stripping a door. It is made of bristles that can create a tight seal against the door. Brush seals are available in different sizes to fit your door.
- V-seal: A V-seal is another type of weather-stripping that can be used on a door. It is made of a flexible vinyl material and can be installed easily. V-seals are available in different sizes for the best fit.
- Door sweeps: Door sweeps are an option for weather-stripping that can be attached to the bottom of a door. They are made of a variety of materials, such as brush, vinyl, or silicone. Door sweeps can help to seal the bottom of the door and prevent drafts from coming in.
- Thresholds: Thresholds can be used to seal the space between a door and the floor. They are available in different styles and sizes to fit your door.
When choosing a weather-stripping material for your door, it’s important to consider the climate in your area and the amount of use the door will get. Some materials may not be suitable for high traffic areas or areas with extreme weather conditions.
You’ll want to use high-quality materials that will withstand the elements and wear and tear over time. Some of the most popular materials for weather-stripping windows are:
- Foam tape: A great all-around option, foam tape can be used on a variety of different window types. It’s easy to install and provides a good seal against drafts.
- Rubber gasketing: Another versatile option, rubber gasketing can be used on both metal and wood windows. It’s durable and provides a good seal against weather and noise.
- Brush weather-stripping: A good choice for sliding windows, brush weather-stripping is made of bristles that fit snugly into the window track. It provides a good seal against drafts and is relatively easy to install.
Applying weather stripping is a relatively easy DIY project that anyone can do.
Follow our step-by-step guide on how to apply weather stripping around your doors and windows:
1. Start by measuring the perimeter of the door or window that you’ll be applying weather stripping to. This will give you an idea of how much material you’ll need to purchase.
2. Next, cut the weather stripping to size using scissors.
3. Apply the weather stripping to the door or window frame, making sure to press it firmly into place.
4. Use a caulk gun to apply sealant around the edges of the weather stripping, if desired. This will help to further seal off any gaps and prevent air from leaking through.
5. Finally, close the door or window and make sure that it seals properly. If there are any gaps remaining, adjust the weather stripping as needed until the seal is tight.
Caulking is another way to insulate with material that you can apply around the edges of your doors and windows, and an important part of weather proofing your home. Most people think that caulking is only used to seal out water around your sinks and showers, but it can also be used to seal out cold air.
Applying caulk is a relatively simple process, but there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a successful application.
Tools and Materials
- Caulk gun
- Putty knife or other sharp object
- Remove any old caulk or sealant from the surface with a putty knife or other sharp object. Be sure to get rid of all of the old material; if there is any remaining, it will prevent the new caulk from adhering properly.
- Cut the tip of the caulk tube at a 45-degree angle, making sure the opening is big enough to allow the proper amount of material to flow out.
- Load the caulk gun and position it so that the tip is touching the surface you want to caulk.
- Squeeze the trigger of the caulk gun to release the caulk onto the surface.
- Move the gun along the surface, using even pressure, until you have reached the end.
- Release the trigger and allow the caulk to set for a few minutes before proceeding.
- Use a wet finger or a putty knife to smooth out the caulk. Wipe away any excess with a damp cloth.
- Allow the caulk to dry completely before painting or staining the surface, if desired.
By caulking any cracks or gaps around your windows and doors, you can keep the warm air inside your home and the cold air outside where it belongs.
When choosing a sealant for your windows, you should consider the cost, the durability, the ease of application, and the resistance to weathering, mold, and mildew. Silicone is the most expensive type of sealant, but it is also the most durable. Acrylic sealant is less expensive than silicone, but it is not as durable.
Urethane sealant is the least expensive type of sealant, but it is also the least durable.
- Applying sealant around your windows will help create an extra barrier against the cold air outside. But before you start, it’s important to clean the area around your windows so that the sealant will adhere properly.
- Once the area is clean, sealant can be applied with a brush or roller, and should be applied to all sides of the door or window, as well as the frame. If you’re using a brush, start at the top and work your way down, using long strokes. For a roller, start in the middle and work your way out. Make sure to smooth it out so that there are no gaps or bubbles.
- Once the sealant is applied, you’ll need to wait for it to dry before opening or closing the door or window. Depending on the type of sealant you’re using, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Once it’s dry, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of a well-sealed door or window.
Is it Time to Replace Those Old Windows and Doors?
The concept of winterization is simple: It’s all about conserving energy. Sealing, caulking, weatherstripping, and properly securing your windows and doors are all effective ways to keep them insulating at peak efficiency during the cold winter season.
However, you may discover that your annual attempts to winterize your doors and windows aren’t working as well as they used to. You get more drafts, and the HVAC system works a little harder to keep you at a pleasant temperature. When this happens, it’s time to think about energy-efficient doors and windows.
Colorado winters are more severe. And there are energy-efficient windows built specifically for this colder environment. These windows have lower U-factors and higher solar heat gain coefficients (SHGC) than energy-efficient windows intended for hotter, southern climes. This means that they not only provide insulation against winter weather but also let in more sunlight to heat your home naturally.
Oftentimes, heat gain and heat loss through windows are to blame for up to 30% of your heating and cooling energy use. As a result, switching to more energy-efficient windows can make quite an impact. Energy Star doors and windows are a good option, and are certified by the US Environmental Protection Agency to meet or exceed energy-efficiency standards.
Before enduring another drafty winter, get tailored recommendations for your home by talking to one of our professionals at SoCo Wood and Windows.