Winter Weather Window Maintenance Tips
In the midst of winter, it's essential to keep your home prepared against the cold weather. One crucial aspect of winter home maintenance is taking care of your windows, which are the closest point of contact to the outside.
Proper window maintenance during the cold months can improve energy efficiency, prevent drafts, and ensure your home stays warm and comfortable. In this blog post, we'll share some valuable cold-weather window maintenance tips to help you protect your windows and keep your home cozy.
Reduce the Condensation on Your Windows
Window condensation is perhaps the most common issue homeowners face in the winter. Because of the temperature difference between the inside and outside of your home, water droplets from the air begin to collect on your windows. However, don’t fret. This is a natural occurrence that is usually harmless. When too much condensation is present, it could pose an issue for mold and window damage, so make sure to keep an eye on it.
To help mitigate window condensation, here are some simple tips.
First, simply wipe away the condensation as much as you see fit so that it doesn’t accumulate. This will prevent the possibility of mold, but does require you to keep up with this task.
For a more hands-off solution, there are a few options. First, you can invest in a dehumidifier, which will reduce the moisture in the air. If that option isn’t ideal for you, circulating the air with a fan has been shown to help condensation, as well as using moisture eliminators such as DampRid.
Weatherstripping and Preventing Drafts
If your windows are letting in drafts, you will notice it most in the winter. However, there are both short-term and long-term solutions that can stop the cold air from getting into your home.
First, you’ll want to look into weatherstripping. Here’s what the U.S. Department of Energy says about weatherstripping:
“You can use weatherstripping in your home to seal air leaks around movable building components, such as doors or operable windows. For stationary components, caulk is the appropriate material for filling cracks and gaps.”
Start by analyzing the non-moving parts of your window, such as around the frame. Inspect the areas around your window and check for cracks and gaps. If there are any, fill them with caulking as suggested.
For the moving parts of the window (such as the sash), there are several options for weatherstripping material, and different options work better for certain window types. The most common type is a self-adhesive plastic strip that wedges into the bottom of your window. Other forms include tape, bronze, felt, foam, and more. This article by the U.S. Department of Energy goes over the pros and cons of each, so check it out as a valuable resource.
Another temporary fix is draft stoppers. These are simple, weighted devices you can purchase to block the bottom of your windows or doors, preventing any air from coming in. However, they usually only work by laying them flat, so they aren’t as suitable for horizontal-oriented windows.
In the long-term new, energy-efficient windows will always be the best fix for drafts and cold air in your home. As windows age, their insulation and seal become less effective, allowing more air from the outside. For a long-term solution, look into home window replacement to solve this problem.
Keeping Clean and Removing Ice From Windows
As a general rule, it’s good to keep windows clean, including your window tracks. This will prevent buildup and optimize the function of your windows. For a full guide on how to clean every area of your windows, check out our article here.
For some homeowners, ice or snow can build up on home windows. To solve this problem, try a few of these tips:
- Mix a solution of 2:1 parts rubbing alcohol to water, and spray on the surface of the ice. This should melt the ice or snow, and you will be able to wipe it away.
- In the same way as above, you can try lukewarm water. Do not use hot water. Rapidly heating glass can crack
- Try slowly heating up the window glass with a hair dryer. This works if the icy surface is inaccessible from the outside. Make sure the air is not too hot, and the hair dryer is on a medium setting.
Proper cold-weather window maintenance is essential to keep your home warm, comfortable, and energy-efficient during the winter months. By following these tips, you can ensure that your windows are ready to face the challenges of winter.
If you decide to go for replacement windows as the ultimate solution, Earthwise Windows is here to help. Reach out to our team to get a free quote for home windows in your area.
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