When considering making upgrades or improving the efficiency of the home’s heating and cooling system, replacing old windows is always one of the suggestions offered. But what can you do if new windows simply aren’t in your budget? If you cannot afford new windows this year there are a few things you can do to increase the efficiency of your current windows and save a little money in the process.
Of course new windows would be the most energy-efficient solution, but not everyone is in the same financial situation and upgrading windows can be somewhat costly. New windows can run you anywhere from $150 or more per window. Keep in mind that you can deduct the cost of home improvements made during the year from your taxes, so maybe next year your budget will stretch a bit more.
Improving Window Efficiency
The next best thing to window replacement is to make your existing windows more efficient by blocking heat loss or gain with window coverings and sealing air leaks. If your existing windows aren’t very old you can improve their efficiency by using caulking around the window frames and fill in any gaps around windows that may let in cold air. You can also add weather stripping to the parts of the windows that move or slide to create an efficient barrier.
The U.S Department of Energy suggests insulating existing windows by covering them with plastic to stop leaks and keep the cold air from radiating through the glass. In the summer time, cover windows with reflective window film to block heat gain through windows with southern exposure. Here are a few inexpensive ways to insulate your windows from the heat and cold:
- Storm windows
- Plastic sheeting
- Heavy draperies
- Roller shades
- Shutters and awnings
- Patio shades or umbrellas
All of these coverings are relatively inexpensive, except for the awning but it does a great job of reflecting the heat and keeping the late day sun from fading your furnishings. The storm windows work great for sealing air leaks and creating an airtight barrier against the winter chill. Contact ABA Heating and Cooling for more information related to energy-efficiency and weatherizing your home.