Windows add to your home’s beauty, but they can also add to your energy bills. Experts say windows are a home’s single greatest source of energy loss. Window technology has improved dramatically lately, but if you can’t afford a new home or the steep cost of window replacement, weatherstripping is your best option.
How does it work and how much do I need?
Weatherstripping reduces air leakage around moveable components such as windows and doors, and comes in a variety of materials. The type you choose depends on where it goes around the frames. V strips are your best bet for the left and right channels between sashes and frames, while closed-cell vinyl foam strips are preferable for sash bottoms and the top outside surfaces of lower sashes.
To determine how much of each weatherstripping material you will need, add the vertical measurements from all windows together for the total V strip needed. Then add all the horizontal measurements together for the total closed-cell vinyl foam needed. Add 10% to these totals to allow for waste.
How do I install it?
Raise the window as far as it will go. Use a damp cloth to clean all surfaces of the sash where weatherstripping will be applied and let it dry completely. If you’re using the vinyl version, cut the V strips with scissors to the same length as the sash channels. Remove the adhesive backing and press them into the channels. Cut the metal ones with tin snips and be sure to drive the tacks flush into the channels so the windows won’t snag on them. You can then use a screwdriver to flare out the open ends to create a tight seal.
Using scissors, cut the closed-cell vinyl strips to the same width as the sash and remove the adhesive backing. Finally, affix one section to the bottom of the sash and the other to the outside top of the sash to stop airflow between the upper and lower sashes.
Then say goodbye to chilly drafts and hello to lower energy usage.