Cold weather can be fun when skiing, having snowball fights, and using your garbage can lid as a makeshift sled, but none of those activities occur inside the home. Air leaks, gaps, cracks (or however you want to see them) in your window sneak outside weather into your home and lead to higher fees onto your energy bill. Keep drafts at bay and your monthly energy costs low by using one or more of these inexpensive tools to weatherproof windows.
Foam tape is usually used to seal windows that slide or swing. It works just as the name would suggest, sticking to the edges or bottoms of windows to prevent air leakage when windows are closed.
Installation: At less than $3, not only is foam tape a fairly cheap weatherization solution, it’s easy to install.
- First, clean and dry the area (must be more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit) where the tape will be applied. If the area is dirty, wet, and/or cold, the tape won’t stick properly or it will easily loose its stickiness factor.
- Cut the amount of foam tape needed based on the length of window sides/bottom.
- Remove the adhesive backing then press the tape into place to cover the area in need of sealing.
Shrink and Seal Window Kit
If you have scissors, a blow dryer, and $4 you can easily weatherproof windows with a Shrink and Seal Window kit. This kit will seal the whole window from the inside and increase the R-value, or insulating power, of the window by as much as 90%.
- As always, clean and dry the area before applying any sealing. You should also clean the insides of windows because you won’t be able to clean that area again until you remove the shrink film.
- Cut the amount of shrink film needed. Cut enough film to cover the entire window (including some of the frame area).
- Remove the backing from one side of the two-sided tape and stick it to the top, bottom, and sides of the window. After installing the tape, remove the adhesive backing from the other side.
- Apply the shrink film around the window, gently stretching it as you work your way from one corner of the window to the other.
- With the blow dryer on the highest setting, slowly move the dryer across the film to tighten it over the window. Don’t stand too close to the window while doing this, otherwise you’ll melt the shrink film.
- Trim any film that’s left over.
V Seal Weatherstrip
The V Seal Weatherstrip, which is much like tape, is another $4 tool that allows a hassle-free installation and removal.
- Clean, measure, then cut as always. Clean the area. Measure how much V Seal strip is needed then cut away.
- Bend the strip down the marked center line to create a “V” shape.
- To seal, remove the backing and press the V strip into the corner of the window.
Caulking is a method of weatherstripping that targets the crack, gap, hole, or opening that allows air to seep through. Basically it’s like sticking silly putty in the exposed area to seal it off. However, unlike silly putty rope caulk provides a better stick, can weatherproof windows in an weather condition, and is a lot more pleasing aesthetically (unlike your lime green putty).
- Clean, clean, clean the area where caulk will be used.
- Peel of a lay of the rope caulk “beads” and divide it based on how much you need.
- Press to seal.
Window AC Cover
Though it’s easily overlooked, your window AC unit could be a major player in the game of air leakage. Window AC covers are often placed on the outside of inside units, but those covers only protect the unit from wind and rain. Installing window AC covers indoors will give your unit added protection by stopping air leaks.
Tape the insulation liners to the face of the air conditioner and place the fabric cover over the windblock liner and air conditioner. Before you purchase an AC cover, measure the air conditioning unit because covers come in three different sizes.
With weatherproofed windows you can still enjoy skiing, snowball fights, and garbage lid sleds without the threat of winter weather becoming household guests.