Save Energy with Winter Window Treatments

Reduce the amount of energy lost through your windows.

  • WinterWindow
    Are your windows ready for winter?
    Istockphoto/Karel Broz

  • WinterWindow

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay 

Each winter, most of us break out extra blankets and sweaters to stay warm. In the same way, it's a good idea to outfit your home for winter weather. You can get your windows ready for the cold by taking steps to block drafts, and then add even more insulating power by hanging window treatments such as thermal drapes or window quilts. Take these easy steps now, and you can save energy and lower your heating bills this winter!

Window Basics

A good place to start winterizing your windows is to investigate whether they need basic repairs or air sealing measures. If you've noticed a draft coming from one or more of your windows, you'll probably want to start by sealing the leaks with caulk, foam, or heat-shrinking plastic ? all available at most hardware stores.

Also remember that some styles of windows are more energy efficient than others. If your home has single-pane windows, you might consider investing in new high performance windows. Although new windows are an expensive purchase, they pay for themselves over time in lower energy bills. If you're ready to buy new windows, try these tips to find the best type for your needs.

Window Dressing

No matter what style of windows you have, they're often the weak spot in your home's envelope, because the glass doesn't slow the transfer of heat. To provide more insulating power, turn to insulated window coverings.

Commercial products. You can find many brands of shades and drapes that are designed to provide extra insulation for your windows. To compare products, look for window treatments that advertise their R-value, the higher the number the better the insulation they provide.

marilyn williams
11/28/2007 12:00:00 AM

A few years ago I worked where they were throwing away over 600 medium sized bubble wrap bags a day. I started hauling them home-what was I thinking? I didn't really know until winter set in. I was facing a very cold, drafty victorian house I had bought and lived in for a couple of years. Oh, and the other item available was large sheets of cardboard. I took the cardboard, used the screen insert from the old storm windows as a template, cut out a piece, spray mounted old lace to one side and inserted them up into the frame on the top-as if the screen was open, only now it just looked like a pretty lace shade! Then I took the bubble wrap, trapping all that air, and stuffed the open area behind the cardboard and between the glass. This left the bottom half open and letting in light and the top part is hidden by the lace curtains I have on the inside. The outside looks really pretty, lacy and victorian. The windows are 5' & 6' tall and I have over 30 of them. It was pretty much a free, recycled project. I only bought 2 cans of spray adhesive and a pack of blades for my knife. I must admit that the winter was mild and I did continue to insulate around the windows and doors, BUT-my fuel use for my oil boiler that supplies my radiators the hot water dropped from 1350 gallons from the year before, to about 400 that winter. I thought I was kinda of nutty when I did it but I am relieved now that I've sen your article!

Suzanne McMahon_2
11/15/2007 12:00:00 AM

I read this article and decided to try the bubble wrap on our bathroom (north) window. The result was immediate. This trick blew me away and it was so easy. No more cold north wind in the bathroom. Thanks so much.

11/14/2007 12:00:00 AM

I have purchased the inexpensive blankets from WalMart and hang them over the north wall of my mobile home and the front door. They reduce the draft from the windows, doors, and electric sockets. I also hang blankets over the south windows and try to tie them back during the day to let the sun in. Because I decorate (?) with Native American or nature scene blankets, they also are decorative. Plus they give the cats something to climb. I also hang a blanket in the living room/hallway to keep the cold from flowing through from the unheated part of the mobile.



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