Windows and Energy: No Panes, No Gains

gabriel amadeus/Flickr

Windows waste plenty of energy and money. Experts say as much as 25% of your home's heat can escape through leaky windows. Here are simple things you can do to make your existing windows save energy and keep your home a little cozier:

  • Install weatherstripping on drafty doors and windows. Storm doors and windows should have weatherstripping on all movable joints.

  • Use stretch-seal, heat-shrink plastic sheeting kits for windows as an inexpensive and easy way to seal warped or single-glazed windows.

  • Use window quilts or shutters over your windows to keep the cold out in the winter and the heat out in the summer. An uninsulated drape can cut window heat loss by one-third. An insulated drape can reduce it by half.

  • Remove, clean, and store window air conditioners. If this isn't possible, wrap the unit with a thick layer of fiberglass insulation and seal it with plastic sheeting and duct tape to keep out moisture.

  • Apply glazing compound to leaky wooden windows where the glass meets the frame and seal where the frame meets the house. If you have aluminum windows, you may need to replace the weatherstripping, available at most hardware stores.

  • Don't try to seal cracks in the glass. Instead, replace the whole pane.

Learn more:

Efficient Windows Collaborative, Alliance to Save Energy


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Maureen C.

I'd like to see more incentives and pressure for landlords to green tenant apartments. I know there are tax deductions, but I pay the utilities so landlord doesn't care that my heat is rushing out the HUGE but thin-paned windows and me so cold (whine).

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