Energy Efficient Windows: How To Prevent Air Leakage

Workers in the background installing new three pane wooden windows in an old wooden house with a new window in the foreground. Home renovation sustainable living energy efficiency concept.

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Do you want a more environmentally friendly home? Are you tired of spending exorbitant sums of money on your energy bills? You should consider making your windows more energy efficient.

Not only will energy efficient windows save you money, but it will also lower your environmental footprint. Of course, you could always buy windows that are more energy efficient, but window installation can be time-consuming and costly.

This post will give you a better understanding of the benefits of energy-efficient windows and provide you with some practical tips that will help you improve your existing windows.

The Benefits Of Energy Efficient Windows

Energy efficient windows are a great addition to any home. Many homeowners have invested time, energy, and money into ensuring that their windows are helping them conserve energy. These types of windows aren’t just beneficial for the environment — they also provide numerous benefits for the homeowner.

Better Lighting

benefits of energy efficient windows
Image via Pella

Windows that are not energy efficient tend to absorb more solar heat. What this means is that it makes your house warmer during the summer months.

To deal with this problem, many homeowners apply glazings that prevent the windows from absorbing so much heat. However, this just creates another problem: poor lighting. The glazing tends to block the level of light that shines through the windows. However, energy efficient windows use glazings that decrease heat without causing issues with lighting.

Reduced Condensation

Condensation tends to accumulate on your windows when the temperature inside the glass goes below the frost point. Energy efficient windows are manufactured with a warm interior, which reduces the level of condensation.

Better Air Quality

Do you deal with allergies? Energy efficient windows can help because they do not allow outside air — which carries allergens — into your home. Moreover, they also keep out pollutants that can cause health issues. The overall air quality in your home will improve with the addition of energy efficient windows.

Greater Durability

Making your windows more energy efficient will also reduce contamination caused by moisture buildup. If you live in a humid area, this is great news. Humidity can seep into your home and damage hardwood floors.

It can have a detrimental effect on any other materials that are vulnerable to moisture as well. Energy efficient windows can keep humidity out of your home, which will protect your floors and furniture.

Lower Energy Bills

Of course, one of the most fantastic benefits of energy efficient windows is lower energy bills. Since these types of windows decrease air leakage, you will keep more air inside your house. Because of this, you will not need to run your HVAC unit as frequently.

The fact that you won’t need to use your HVAC unit means there will be less wear and tear on the appliance. The less you use your HVAC unit, the less likely it will be that you will have to spend money on repair.

Finally, another way energy efficient windows can save money is through tax rebates. Homeowners who make their homes more energy efficient could be entitled to a kickback from the government.

If you don’t want to purchase new energy efficient windows, you should consider air sealing your existing windows. This process is a highly effective way to make them more efficient.

What Is Air Sealing?

Air sealing is a procedure that enables you to prevent air leakage. Air leakage occurs when there are gaps in your windows that allow the air on the inside to leak to the outside. It can also allow outside air to enter your home, which can cause drafts that require you to turn on your HVAC unit.

There are several different ways to air seal your windows. These include weather stripping and caulking. The great thing about the air sealing process is that it is relatively easy to do without spending large sums of money.

How To Air Seal Your Windows

The air sealing process is fairly simple, but you want to make sure that it is done the right way. Before starting, inspect each of your windows. Look for missing glass and rotted wood. You also need to watch out for areas with larger gaps. If you see that there are areas with excessive leaks, air sealing may not work. In this case, it’s best to contact a professional.

sealing yoru windows
Image via Apartment Therapy

Air sealing isn’t a “one and done” process. After you apply the sealing, you need to inspect it periodically to make sure that gaps have not formed. It’s best to catch these gaps before they widen because it will be easier for you to fix them. Looking out for gaps is especially important if there are a lot of storms that can damage the sealing.

In this section, we will give you some different ways you can seal your home. The method you choose will be determined by the type of climate in which you live, and the style of your house.

  • Rope caulk: A soft substance that you can mold so that it can fit in the gap easier. It is easily removable so you can replace it when necessary.
  • Nail polish: If you apply it to cracks, it will harden and keep the glass stable. Another benefit is that the polish is invisible so it won’t cause any unsightly blemishes.
  • V-seal weather stripping: Apply this stripping to the sides of your sashes.
  • Draft snake: This is a good solution if the bottom of your windows is leaking air. Cut the tube to fit your windows and place the cover over it. Put it on the window sill and close it.
  • Shrink film: Apply the film with double-sided tape. Use a hair dryer to make it shrink. When you need to remove the film, use rubbing alcohol.

These are some handy fixes for the short term. However, it’s best to think long-term when it comes to making your windows more energy efficient.

One way to keep your windows sealed is to replace old glazing. Over time, the glazing can weaken and crack.

First, you need to remove the old glaze. If the glaze has become worn and cracked, you might be able to remove it with your hands. However, if it has not become cracked, you will need to do more work. Use a heat gun to soften the glaze while using a putty knife to scrape it off.

Make sure you continually move the heat gun so that you don’t have concentrated heat in one area. If this happens, the glass can crack, so be very careful!

After removing the old glaze, you will apply the new layer. Before working with the new glazing, make sure the substance is at room temperature. Take a small amount of the glaze and roll it around in your hands to make sure the consistency is even. Then, work with it as if you were making a thin breadstick and apply it to the edge of the window pane.

Next, you will press the glaze into the pane and the frame and smoothen it. Use a putty knife to push the glaze into the wood and glass. Do this process around the perimeter of the window and make sure that you remove any excess glazing.

Run the putty knife along the glazing to remove the excess and smooth it off. To remove the excess, use the knife to push it towards the center of the window pane.

After reglazing the window, you will push it back into place. You can use a flat-head screwdriver to make sure it fits securely into the frame. After the window pane is in place, use your putty knife to remove any remaining glaze.

Summing It All Up

Energy efficient windows are a wonderful way to save money while benefiting the environment. Sure, you can always buy new windows, or have a professional air seal them for you, but doing it yourself will save you even more money.

Making your windows more energy efficient is relatively inexpensive and easy. Even better, it’s not as time-consuming as you might think. With a little bit of work, lower your energy bill, avoid costly repairs to your HVAC unit, and do your part to conserve energy.

The tips in this article will make it much easier to ensure that you are maximizing your windows’ energy efficiency. However, it’s important to improve the overall efficiency of your home. There are plenty of ways to make sure your house is conserving more energy. The more efficient your home is, the more money you will save, and the better it will be for the environment.

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