Unless your home is newly built, you are very likely to have windows that are not air tight. These older, sash type windows may be costing you money by leaking air. In the winter, when you are trying to keep the house warm, the heated air is escaping to the outside. Not to mention the cold air that is coming in through the gaps. You may be able to save money on heating bills with DIY sash window insulation.
Your sash windows were once the most efficient windows available to home builders. Now days there are newer, more air tight versions being made. And the parts that your sash windows are made up of may have deteriorated, leaving the gaps we just mentioned. You may not be in the market just yet for replacing all of the windows in your home. Perhaps you rent and don’t want to put that much expense into a home you do not own. You still have options for saving money on your heating and cooling costs. There are ways you can stop the leaks on these older windows. Let’s look at an overview of what is available.
The first thing you should do is check the putty to see if it is crumbling or loose. Older putty deteriorates with time and the elements tend to dry it out so it is no longer pliable. By scraping off this old window putty and applying new, you are making a start towards sealing up the leaks. You can buy window putty in rope form or in a can. The rope form is a very easy and innovative way to get the job done quickly.
If the wood framing on your windows has become split or loose, you may consider repairing or replacing it. Although this is a larger task than just replacing the putty, it is still worth considering, especially if you own the home. Doing this can extend the life of your present windows until you are ready to commit to buying new.
Sash windows have brush insulation inside them along the tracks. These brushes become worn over time. They loose their bristles as the window is raised or lowered. You can replace these brushes. Granted, this is a more labor intensive remedy. The brush insulation is available in lengths from any hardware store or building supply house. Measure the height of your windows and purchase accordingly. You want your insulation to go from the top to the bottom of the window.
Your window trim is more than just a cosmetic, it actually helps to seal and insulate as well. If it is warped or split, replacement may be necessary. Use a bead of caulk on this also just as you did on the framing. And a rope of window caulk around the outside edges creates a double seal. Finally, repaint if needed.
Perhaps the easiest way of insulating a window, and one that if wonderful for those who rent and don’t want to have a big expenditure for a home they do not own, is the window film insulation that is seen in any store that sell home repair or building supplies. Simply nail the film around the outer perimeter of your window on the outside, and heat it up with a common hand held hair dryer. The film will contract with the heat, making a tight seal. And visibility will not be a problem, you can hardly see these after they have been shrunken with the heat. You have just added another barrier to your window pane.
We all want to do things around our homes to conserve energy. When you see that you can save money on heating bills with DIY sash window insulation, you will be glad you put forth the effort.