How To Insulate Doors and Windows

Winter is in full swing, and with that comes the arrival of cold air. No matter how new or sealed your home might be, you’ve likely struggled with the nuisance of drafts throughout your house. These air leaks not only let the cold into your toasty interiors but can drive your energy costs up as your heater works itself tirelessly to combat the intrusion of cold air. There are, thankfully, a few steps you can take to prevent cold air from leaking in from the doors and windows.

Apply Insulation Film

Insulation film adheres directly to the glass of your windows. With this task, an extra layer of insulation is applied to help your home retain its warmth while blocking out the cold from outside. Window film is an excellent option if you are on a budget as it is relatively inexpensive to attain.
Though the concept is simple, a smooth application can sometimes be tricky, so do not be afraid to ask for help. As the insulation film adheres, you will use a hairdryer to suck out all the remaining air, making for an excellent, tight seal. This layer of plastic may alter the look of the glass; however, if you take the time to give all your windows this same treatment, the consistency will make it nearly undetectable.

Hang Window Treatments

Interior shades and curtains are not just decorative. They allow for controlled light filtration, which can be a major source of cool air and heat throughout the year. Having a shade that you can easily open and close means you can take advantage of the warmth of the sun when it is in the right position while shutting it out when it has shifted or gone down.

Window treatments provide another barrier for the cold air to have to push through. Consider both your interior window coverings, as well as exterior. Outdoor shutters or awnings can give you even greater control over filtration and air flow.

Use Sealing Tape

Sealing tape is a go-to option to plug air leaks coming through your windows. While it may seem worth it to seal every window, it is best to find the sources of cold air intrusion and address only the problem areas. Because the tape is an adhesive, it is essential to be mindful of overapplication to prevent damage to your windows.

To locate leaks, light a stick of incense and let it hover over the perimeter of the window. When the natural billow of the smoke is disrupted, it means you have got air coming through in that particular spot.

Redo Caulking

Caulk is commonly used to seal the seams left by the installation of any fixture; including windows. Like sealing tape, caulk prevents leaks by filling in the gaps. Caulk was most likely applied when your windows were initially installed, but over time, it can crack or fall off due to normal wear and tear. When this happens, it is a good idea to re-apply the sealant to stop both air and moisture leaks.

While caulk uses the same strategy as sealing tape, it is much more permanent and does not have the added risk of damaging your windows. Sealing tape, on the other hand, can be removed during the summertime, when you are less concerned about cold air getting into the house.

Add Door Snakes

When it comes to winterizing your doors, the simplest way to get the job done is with the addition of door snakes. Though it sounds highly technical, these handy tools are easy to make and extremely effective.

A door snake is a long tube of fabric that has been stuffed with a heavy filler material, such as rice or sand. The snake slides up against the crack at the bottom of your door to block out drafts. Because this is such an inexpensive solution, you can use these on both interior and exterior doors throughout your home. As air is coldest near the floor, it explains why this method is so effective.

New Window Installation

Install New Windows

You may not even realize how inefficient your current windows are until you decide to take a closer look. Cracks around the frame can be circulating unwanted air in and out of your home. This results in either a chilly room or a drastic jump in heating costs. Older, single-pane windows also do little to keep the cold from penetrating through the glass.

If you know that the windows have not been updated in years, it may be time to invest in this valuable upgrade. New windows can make a significant impact during the chilliest months, while also improving your energy efficiency and adding a significant return on investment down the road.

Expert Window Installation with All Exteriors

If you are looking for expert advice, or are ready for the new window installations that winter is calling for, contact the professionals at All Exteriors LLC. We sell top-of-the-line brands in a variety of styles and models and are committed to your home’s protection from the elements.

Get in touch today to help improve your New Richmond home!

5 Ways to Prevent Drafty Windows and Stop the Cold

As the warm weather starts to die down, and the cold air of winter begins, homeowners start to find difficulty in preventing the cold from entering their homes. Frequently, this breach is caused by drafty windows. Like all parts of a house, windows age with time and replacements may be deemed necessary. In the meantime, however, there are several ways to help winterize windows and better reduce the effects of drafts.

Interior Design Solutions

Instead of addressing the drafty window itself, some homeowners opt for an interior design solution that helps block cold air from intruding too far into the home. One method is through the use of proper window treatments. Window treatments are easy to obtain and can be changed out according to the season. During warm months, simple window curtains can suffice. During the colder season, changing out lightweight window treatments for heavier drapery can help block cold air as it comes through the drafty window. For additional reinforcement and maximum benefits, choose specialized thermal drapes, double up on standard curtains, and/or use fasteners to draw drapes closer to the wall.

Window Caulking

The cause of drafty windows can often be tied to air leakage around the trim. Therefore, finding a way to block airflow around the trim or between the frame is a quick way to lessen the breach. Window caulking is an easy way to fill in these types of gaps. Though it is a simple way to winterize windows, it will need to be repeated over time. Ideally, non-toxic latex caulk created for indoor application should be used, however, for older windows, it may be necessary to scrape out old caulking and thoroughly clean the area before any new product is applied.

Seals and Weatherstripping

Whether the window is old and the seal has worn out, or it is a newer vinyl or aluminum model that has begun to leak, adding new weatherstripping can help with winterizing preparations. Various types of weatherstripping are available, each with its own positive and negative aspects. The amount of installation expertise needed varies depending upon the stripping chosen. Some common options include:

  • Felt stripping
  • V-strips or tension seals
  • Metal or vinyl stripping

Felt stripping is inexpensive and easily self-installed, but less efficient or durable than other options. Tension seals, or v-strips, are a type of plastic weather stripping that can fill in gaps by springing open. Metal, vinyl, or rubber stripping is commonly used as a weather stripping solution, due to the combination of effectiveness and cost.

Storm Windows

The use of storm windows for increased energy efficiency is a popular and moderately priced option for homeowners seeking to keep out the cold. Storm windows are a year-round solution and also help reflect heat in warmer months. Although not as effective as double-pane window installation, storm windows can significantly reduce air leakage and provide solar control. Storm windows vary in type, from thin plastic sheets or film to thicker glass products. Many products can be installed either on the exterior or interior of the window providing a versatile option for the owner.

Repair or Replace

In spite of attempts to seal out the cold, older windows or windows in disrepair can sometimes not be salvaged. Though replacement windows are an investment, they are an investment often recuperated through energy efficiency savings and resale value. If the usefulness or safety of a window is in question and attempts to repair any damage have been unsuccessful, contact All Exteriors, LLC. We will provide the necessary resources for your window replacement, making the decision-making process that much easier.

The Benefits of Using Natural Light in Your Home

Most of us spend the majority of our lives inside: at home, at work, at school. With all of this time spent underneath artificial lighting, it’s easy to forget how natural light enhances our lives. Here are some of the benefits of using natural light in your home.

Increase Productivity

Despite the number of office buildings in America lit by artificial light, using natural light is actually an excellent way to boost productivity. Natural light makes people feel more energized, better focused, and able to get more done. This makes well-lit areas of your home, such as a sunroom, ideal places to work. Be sure to contact a professional if you’re interested in sunroom installation in New Richmond, WI.

Improve Mental Health

The growing awareness of seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, where people are affected by the limited daylight in winter time, should establish the importance of natural light in interior spaces when it comes to our mental health. By opening your curtains more frequently or choosing to spend more time in well-lit areas, you can improve your moods and increase your overall level of happiness.

Boost Physical Health

While the best natural light health benefits are those that stem from being active outside, there are many physical benefits that can be reaped just from letting more light into your home. For example, being more in tune with the waxing and waning of the daylight can even help to reset your circadian rhythms and improve your sleep, which in turn improves your physical health. In addition, studies have found that natural light and exterior views help surgery patients recover more quickly, so obviously it has a significant and often overlooked impact on people’s physical health.

Live Green

Using natural light as much as possible isn’t just better for your mind and body, it’s also better for your finances and for the planet. Minimizing artificial light cuts down on the amount of energy you’re using, lowering your electric bills and, ultimately, saving energy. It can also help to save on heating costs in the winter, if you open your curtains to take advantage of the sun’s heat and close them when it’s no longer a benefit. Do note that if your windows are the old single pane glass, they may benefit from an upgrade to prevent energy loss. For more information, call a professional in New Richmond regarding window installation.

Letting more natural light in doesn’t just make your home look better, it makes you feel better inside and out. To find out how you can bring more daylight into your home, contact All Exteriors LLC today about our windows and sunrooms to bring light and life into your home.

Featured image: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

How to Winterize Your Windows to Prepare for a Midwest Winter

The Midwest winter can be harsh. Here in Minnesota and Wisconsin we can see lots of snow, ice and freezing-cold winds that can take a real toll on your home if you’re not prepared!

Energy costs are unpredictable and if your home isn’t properly winterized, you can be hit with big bills. If you live in an older home with single-pane windows or have even the smallest gaps or spaces around windows and doors, you could be spending hundreds of dollars more than you need to every winter.

It’s not difficult to winterize windows and a little time spent before the winter snows hit can keep you warm … and lower your energy costs. Let’s examine how to winterize your windows to prepare your home for the coming Midwest winter.

How to Winterize Windows

There are several effective window insulation techniques. Often the best solution is to combine a couple to maximize efficiency and achieve lower energy costs. Here are some to consider:

Storm Windows

If you have older single-pane windows, storm windows are a relatively inexpensive way to add some protec tion. While they don’t provide window insulation, they do prevent air movement through single pane windows.

Thermal Window Treatment

This is another low-cost fix and they look better than putting plastic over the windows! Heavy, thermal-lined, floor- or sill-length drapes can keep the cold air at bay. To make them even more effective, consider adding Velcro to window frames and places where they overlap for a better seal.

Window Replacement

With replacement windows from All Exteriors, you can save energy by replacing your old windows with the latest state-of-the-art window technology designed to help keep your home cool in summer and warm in the winter.

While it’s possible to do the work yourself, often the best solution is to hire a professional. The money you save heating your home this winter will help defray any costs if windows are drafty and cold. Contact All Exteriors today so that you’re best prepared for a Midwest winter!