January 05, 2016
It seems like energy has the uncanny ability to escape right out of the window – especially in the winter. Ever feel like you’re just throwing your money away keeping your house warm? Read on to learn about exactly why and where that warm air is going, and some simple steps that you can take to lower your energy bill this winter.
“Leaky windows” sounds more like a problem you hear about on a submarine, but it can happen in your home too. You might not be leaking water, but you could be losing warm air through small cracks and leaks in your window fixtures – a home can lose up to 15% of its heat through drafty windows… that’s a lot of money wasted.
Before you can fix this “leak” or draft of air, you need to diagnose exactly where the leak is coming from. Maybe replacing a window isn’t an option this winter. That’s okay, once you know what’s leaking, there’s still a lot you can do.
This isn’t the most elegant of options, but it sure is effective in covering a window. Taping up clear plastic film can help seal window leaks and retain heat in a room. There are kits that are sold for this purpose, but any sort of thicker plastic film can be used in a pinch, i.e. bubble wrap or shrink film. Shrink film’s application often involves using a dryer to tighten the material and make a complete seal, but the instructions are easy to follow and can be applied to most windows.
Much like the draft stoppers mentioned in 6 Quick Tips for Keeping Out The Cold, draft snakes can also be used for windows. These are most effective on older windows that may not close fully or tight enough. Using draft snakes can eliminate that chill of cold air in a room very effectively, and they are one of the most cost effective options for keeping your home’s energy inside, where it’s supposed to be.
Yes, curtains. These simple pieces of fabric in almost every home are one of the best ways for keeping energy and heat trapped in a room. Think about it this way: imagine that the heat from your radiator or vent was visible. As it travels and is pushed across the room, it hits the cold glass, which absorbs it rapidly and cools off the room. Whoosh, your heat - and money - are now gone.
With the curtains closed, however, that heat hits the curtain and instead of being absorbed, it’s dispersed upwards, downwards, and back into the room. The trick here is making sure your curtains fit properly. This means that they are closely woven fabric, fit properly on the sides, and are close enough to the ceiling and low enough to the floor to prevent the air from traveling over and under the curtains.
Keeping the curtains closed at night or when it’s cold out is a must, otherwise, you are directing your heat up and out the window! If it’s unseasonably warm, open the curtains during the day to let in warming sunlight.
These are simple wins that can help you keep your energy inside your home this winter and not heating the entire neighborhood.