How to Insulate Windows for Cold Weather

Winter is a lovely season, but it can be quite harsh. One of the biggest challenges of winter is keeping the house warm. It’s particularly challenging if you have old windows that are prone to letting in drafts. The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank to keep your windows insulated.

Why Winterize Windows?

Windows can be one of the biggest culprits of heat loss in your home. This is because glass is a poor insulator, allowing heat to transfer more easily. Additionally, seals around windows can wear over time, which can result in drafts and air leaks. All of this can result in a considerable drop in indoor temperatures and/or an increase in your energy bills.

Identifying Window Leaks and Drafts

The first step in insulating your windows for the winter season is to identify any leaks or drafts. To do this, try one or more of these methods: 

  • Feel around the edges of your windows, or use a candle to detect air movement. 
  • Examine the caulking around the window. If it’s cracked or deteriorated, it may need to be replaced. 
  • Check the weatherstripping around the window frame. Weatherstripping can become worn or damaged, which can allow air to flow between the frame and the window. 

How to Insulate Your Windows: 4 Methods

There are several methods of insulating windows for the winter season. Here are our top three DIY recommendations. 

1. Insulating Film

One of the easiest methods is to apply an insulating film to the window. This is a clear film that is applied to the inside of the window frame and creates an additional layer of insulation between the glass and the room. 

2. Draft Stoppers & Door Snakes

Another effective method is to use draft stoppers or door snakes along the bottom of the window. These are typically made from fabric and are placed against the bottom of the window frame to stop drafts.

3. Weatherstripping & Caulking

Weatherstripping and caulking are also effective means of insulating windows. Weatherstripping is typically a foam or rubber strip that is applied around the window frame, sealing any gaps. Caulking is applied to the edges of the window frame to fill in any gaps between the frame and the wall. 

4. Thermal Curtains or Blinds

Finally, consider covering windows with thermal curtains or blinds to insulate them from the cold weather. This is arguably the easiest method. However, depending on which brand and style of curtains or blinds you choose, its efficacy will vary.

When to Winterize vs. When to Replace

If your windows are old and beyond repair, you may want to consider replacing them with newer, more energy-efficient windows. A reputable manufacturer will have windows that have energy-efficient features like multiple panes, low-E coatings, and argon gas fillings. This option may cost more upfront, but it will pay off in the long run with lower energy bills and a more comfortable home.

Should you choose to go this route, we have an excellent window selection at Standard Supply & Lumber, complete with industry-leading brands and their associated high-caliber products. Choose from popular brands like: 

  • Andersen®
  • Jeld-Wen®
  • Marvin®
  • North Star Windows & Doors
  • Silver Line

Shop Replacement Windows at Standard Supply & Lumber

Get them before the heavy cold and snow hits! Stop in to one of our West Michigan locations or contact our team online to learn more about our window options.