Tips for Winter Prepping Your Windows

Dec 9, 2019 | Windows

The days are getting shorter – and colder. You begin to crank up the heat, only to realize that it takes a long time to warm your home and the second you turn it off, you’re living in an icebox again. The constantly running heat is sending your energy bill skyrocketing and at the end of the day, your efforts to stay warm end in vain as you are still cold. While this may be an issue with your HVAC system (consider contacting ARS-Rescue Rooter to check for you), the problem may also lie in poor energy performance of your windows.

Here are a few notes that will help make sure that your windows are prepped for this Winter or decide if it is time to replace your windows.

How Can I Increase Energy Performance With My Existing Windows?

When looking to increase your window’s energy performance, you should begin by conducting a thorough inspection. Some of the things you should look for are:

  • Proper weather-stripping around the window. Weather-stripping plays a vital part in ensuring a proper seal when closed, keeping out bugs, dust and drafts, while preventing temperature loss within the home.

  • Heavy drafts coming through the window. You can check for drafts by simply running your hand around the seams of the window and feeling for any air currents coming through.

  • Glass Failures – Glass failures occurs when the seal between the glass panes and the window spacer is weakened. In a glass failure the gas between the panes escapes and your windows will not operate optimally. Glass failure is easily identifiable by seeing condensation or fogginess between the glass panes. If you happen to have a glass failure, it is best to reference your manufacturer’s warranty if applicable to see what your options are for replacing the failed glass unit.

The addition of a dark and heavy curtain hung on your window can help absorb any solar heat that passes through the window pane and help insulate your home. Thermal curtains are specifically designed with heat preservation in mind.

Condensation: What Causes it and is it an Issue With My Windows?

Condensation is when water vapor changes from a gaseous form into a liquid state. The process occurs when there is a sudden drop in temperature. Warm air is capable of holding higher amounts of water vapor and when it comes into contact with a cooler surface, the water vapor condenses changing into a liquid. This is the same process as when you take a hot shower and see a foggy mirror, or have a cold drink on a hot day and notice water beads on the outside of the glass.

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Condensation can occur on a window surface when the inside of the home is warm and humid and the outside temperature is much colder. If the condensation is occurring on glass surface on the inside of your home, this does not mean you have a faulty window, it is actually a clear indication that your windows are well insulated. If you are experiencing excessive condensation on your windows, try some of these tips to reduce the amount:

  • Monitor your indoor humidity level – Using a device such as a dehumidifier can significantly reduce indoor humidity levels to limit the amount of condensation.

  • Keep the rooms that are experiencing high amounts of condensation well ventilated – If a specific room in your home is experiencing high amounts of condensation, make sure to ventilate the space frequently. This can be done by simply opening windows and doors to allow for air to circulate, turning on ceiling fans or by using ventilation systems.

  • Upgrade your old single pane windows to double pane. Double pane windows have become the new standard in the industry featuring two panes of glass with air or gas between them to help insulate the home.

While condensation on the inside or outside of the window is a natural occurrence, condensation in between glass panes can be an indication of a glass failure.

How Do I Know if I Need to Replace My Windows?

There comes a time when you need to decide whether your windows are performing well, or you need to upgrade to replacement windows. While most modern windows have an estimated lifetime of 20+ years, that was not always the case and many older properties are experiencing outdated, deteriorating windows that are at the end of their lives. In many cases, these windows are experiencing air leaks and water infiltration, seal failures, outdated or damaged hardware. When contemplating replacing your current windows, the decision making process should begin with a simple window examination similar to the one outlined above.

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One of the first things you should look for is air leakage. Spaces in between your window sashes and frames not only let air in and out of the home, but sound and potentially rain/ moisture and insects as well. If you are relying on hanging plastic film over your window to compensate for air leakage, you should look into replacement windows. If you happen to have a glass failure as previously described, you may need to replace your window dependent on if your window is covered by a warranty.

If possible, have your window looked at by a service professional. If none of these solutions help, it may be time to look into replacing your windows.

Moving Forward, Which Replacement Windows Should I Consider?

Choosing replacement windows for your home may seem like a difficult choice, but it does not have to be! At Greenawalt Roofing, we can review all the options and styles to help you make the best choice for your home. We recommend and install MI windows and doors which are manufactured in the United States and backed by a Limited Lifetime Customer Assurance Warranty. Contact Greenawalt Roofing Company to ensure that your home is comfortable for you and your loved ones this Winter.

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