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Fix and Insulate Drafty, Energy-Sucking Windows

Here are a few quick and inexpensive ways to fix those drafty windows right now, as well as some long-term solutions.
Fix and Insulate Drafty, Energy-Sucking Windows

Drafty windows may be alright in the fall, but once winter arrives, those rattling, drafty windows will raise your heating expense beyond your comfort level. It's best to get rid of that headache as soon as possible. 

Easy Quick Fixes 

  1. Weather-stripping using a V-seal. Along the sides of the sashes, add this plastic weather stripping. Even with the V-seal in place, windows can open and close.
  2. This sticky and soft rope caulk can be shaped to fit the gap and is easy to remove when winter's over.
  3. Shrink some film. When heated with a hairdryer, this translucent plastic sheeting becomes drum-tight when applied with double-sided tape. The coating keeps drafts at bay and traps an insulating layer of air. To avoid peeling paint off in the spring, use rubbing alcohol to assist remove the tape.
  4. A coat of nail polish. Clear polish, when applied gently, fills the fissure almost completely. The polish will stabilize the glass once it has hardened, allowing you to replace it in the spring. Alternatively, fix the crack using clear weather-seal tape.
  5. Create a snake. If your window's bottom leaks cold air, invest in a foam-and-fabric draft snake kit. Cut the 36-inch foam tube to length and cover it with the washable cover. Then, to seal the deal, set the snake on the window sill and close the window on it.

3 Long Term Fixes

1. Replace any broken or missing glass. Over time, the glazing putty used to seal window panes might split and fall out. It takes practice to execute a good job of glazing, but even a mediocre job will help to avoid leaks. Here's how:

  • Remove all of the old putty first.
  • Remove the pane and replace it with a fresh putty bed.
  • Gently press the glass into the putty and fasten the pane with glazing pins, which are little metal points that push into the sash.
  • A flathead screwdriver can be used to push the points into place.
  • Apply a long, thin roll of putty and smooth it in with a clean putty knife.
  1. Refresh your storm windows. If you have old storm windows stacked in the rafters of your garage, repaint and reglaze them before putting them up in the fall. Storm windows insulate as well as cut drafts. It simply takes an afternoon to wash and install the storms once they've been fixed up.
  2. Change out the window. A worn, rotting, or creaking window has simply outlived its usefulness. Replacing old windows is a job best left to the professionals. Low-maintenance frame materials, as well as low-E and insulated glass alternatives, will be available. 


To stay on top of your home energy consumption you can install a PowerX device and stay connected to your home 24/7. With the PowerX home energy monitoring system you get a clear picture of what's happening in your home, so that you can make better decisions on what types of upgrades your home might need to save money and energy.

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