When you live in an older home with the original windows. about 10 to 15 percent of your heating energy is lost through the panes of glass. To reduce the amount of heat loss through the windows and decrease your energy bills every month, use one or more of the following tips below.
Fill in Any Gaps with Putty
If your windows have old, wooden frames around two or four panes of glass, the wood can start to shrink over time. When this happens, small gaps can form between the glass and wood. These spaces then allow heat to escape while allowing cold air into your house, making your heater run more often to compensate and running up your heating bill.
To keep these gaps from letting the heat inside your home escape, fill in the spaces with wood putty. You will also need a small putty knife with a one-inch wide blade.
To insert the putty into the spaces, either use the putty knife or your fingers to press it into the gaps. Do not worry about smoothing out the putty at this point. Just fill in the gaps.
While the putty is still pliable, use the knife to smooth the surface by placing the top part of the blade flush with the frame. Then, push down and towards you to even out the putty's surface.
After the putty has dried and set up according to the instructions, use the putty knife to scrape the excess putty off of the glass panes. Then, use alcohol to dissolve any residual putty.
Cover the Glass Panes with Clear Insulation Film
After filling in the gaps with putty, you can decrease the amount of heat loss further by applying a clear insulation film over the glass panes. This film adds an extra protective layer on the glass, keeping the heated air in and the colder air out. For this task, you will also need a utility knife, a spray bottle filled with water and a measuring tape.
Before you apply the film, measure each pane so you can cut out a piece of the film to fit. However, add a quarter of an inch per side to allow for overlap so you can ensure a tight fit.
Once you have your pieces of film cut to size, spray a fine mist of water on the glass. This misting of water helps secure the film to the glass and activates the adhesive.
Place the top part of the film at the top of the pane, then smooth it over the glass. Use your fingertips to push the film into the corners. Then, use the utility knife to cut off any excess film not attached to the glass.
Use Heavy Drapes as Window Treatments
Another way you can block the exchange of air through your windows is to replace your window treatments with heavy drapes. Using drapes with heavy-duty fabric and an insulated backing can help reduce the amount of heat lost, especially on days when the temperatures are very cold.
To provide even more protection from heat loss, line each side of the drapes with a strip of adhesive velcro, with the corresponding strip attached to the wall. You can then attach the drapes to the wall, sealing the space and creating an extra buffer through which the heat will have difficulty escaping.
Even after using the above tips, you may still find that your heating bill is extremely high, especially during the coldest months of winter. If so, you may want to speak with a window installation professional to discuss your options for replacing your windows with energy-efficient ones while maintaining the visual appeal of your old house.