Windows, no matter how old or new, can have holes, gaps or cracks. What does this mean in the cold winter months? Cold rooms that are difficult to keep warm and higher than necessary utility bills. If you are tired of increasing the temperature on your thermostat or walking around certain rooms in your home wrapped in blankets because of the cold air drafts, it’s time to consider the benefits of installing a weather strip on your windows.
How it Works
There are a variety of materials that weather stripping comes in – which makes it important to consider where you are applying it before starting. Windows need a product that can withstand the opening and closing or sliding of the panes, otherwise you could be dealing with a window that is stuck or stripping that doesn’t last. The most common materials are felt, metal, vinyl or rubber. When it is applied correctly, the stripping provides a seal between the parts of your window that move and the parts that do not.
The obvious benefit of installing weather stripping on your windows is warmer rooms in your home. If there is a room in your home that you constantly feel chilled in – chances are you are dealing with a draft from a window. The other benefits include:
- Reduce utility bills by as much as 40 percent, simply by being able to turn the thermostat down and allowing the furnace to run less
- Increase life on your furnace – the less it has to run, the less likely it is to break down
- Preserve your home’s insulation – when warm air leaks outdoors through the windows, it causes the insulation to become damp, making it less effective in keeping your home warm
How to Choose
After you walk around your home and determine that you have air leaks from your windows, you will need to determine the best type of weather strip to use. While there is no cut and dry answer, you will need to determine the exact circumstances of the area you are installing it. For areas of high moisture, vinyl is recommended while metal is a product that will last for many years and look attractive, especially on older homes. If you are on a budget, felt and foam strips work well too, they just might not stand the test of time.