Winter is fast approaching. It is that time of year when you want to make sure you take the steps to properly winterize your Indiana home. This can involve checking your heating system, preparing your pipes, and ensuring your home is adequately insulated. These checks help prevent any costly repairs in the middle of the cold winter as well as minimize expensive utility bills. These checks also help ensure that your home will be warm, cozy, and comfortable all winter long. While it is essential to winterize several areas, your windows and doors should be your prime targets.
When it comes to winterizing your home, there are specific tasks for certain areas and general tips that can be used across the board. For example, when it comes to winterizing options for both windows and doors, you’ll want to consider these choices:
- Obvious damage—One of the first things to check for is visible damage to your doors or windows. If a window is cracked or broken, it will not protect you from the winter elements. Not only will it allow cold air in, but it will also pull warm air out. This can cause your heating unit to work harder, which ultimately costs you more money.
- Insulation—If accessible, the areas behind windows or door trim can benefit from added insulation. Batt insulation or spray foam will work best in these areas. By adding more insulation, cold air will be prevented from entering the home.
- Add weather stripping—Both doors and windows can be weather stripped. This adds further protection from drafts and cold weather. Of course, you’ll need to make sure that the proper stripping is being used.
- Caulk—The seals of your windows and doors contribute the most to cold air entering your home while warm air escapes. Seals tend to degrade over time, so re-sealing them is a standard maintenance chore. A tight seal will make sure that your home is always comfortable. One inexpensive way to seal windows and door frames for the winter months is to use caulking. Polyurethane is the best option because it is paintable, doesn’t shrink, sticks better, and doesn’t attract dust and dirt.
- Storm windows or doors—Storm windows and doors are an optional accessory for any home. Storm doors are a great option because they are much more versatile than they once were. They are available in a variety of designs and colors, making them customizable for your home. They add a layer of security between you and anyone outside your door. They also make keeping an eye on children or pets a breeze. A storm door will also help protect your main door and your home from unwanted weather elements. A storm window provides the same added layer of protection against stubborn drafts.
Winterizing Your Windows
Your windows in Indiana play a significant role in the aesthetic of your home and your overall comfort. When it comes to your windows, you can use a few specific methods to better protect your home from the cold. These include:
- Thermal window fashions—If you don’t have the means or time to do any added protection to your window itself, you can also invest in hanging thermal window fashions such as drapes. Heavily lined drapes help block breezes effectively. These window fashions can also be used year after year. Plus, drapes allow you to change the look of your space, both inside and out. For best results, you’ll want to hang the drapes as close to the actual window as possible.
- Cellular shades—This option is another excellent choice for practicality and style. If you want something more year-round that can still block drafts, cellular shades may be the perfect option for your home. They are more versatile and can be custom ordered to fit any window perfectly.
- Basement/attic windows—Check every window of your home. Depending on your house, it can be easy to forget about any basement or attic windows. One great way to increase the energy efficiency in your home is to make sure that these windows are covered. If you have a basement window with wells, you can cap the wells with covers explicitly designed to help control draft and insulation.
- New windows—If your windows are rather old, or you notice having to put more and more winterizing work into them, it may be time to invest in new windows. You’ll want to look for windows with a low air leakage rating. You’ll also want to look for energy-star-rated windows. These windows lower household energy bills by an average of 12% and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Your doors get a lot of use year-round. Make sure that they aren’t a source of airflow. When winterizing your doors in Indianapolis, it is helpful to consider:
- Door bolts—We often don’t give it a second thought, but bolting your door pulls it shut tighter, which strengthens the seal.
- Draft guard—If you don’t want to buy a specific guard, a rolled-up towel or blanket can help prevent cold air from seeping in under your door.
- Door gaskets—These are a step up from weather stripping. These are aluminum extensions that are mounted to the stop molding of the doorframe or the frame itself. This helps the door hold a secure seal.
- New door—If you are constantly worried about your door, it may be time to invest in a new one. This is always an excellent option for curb appeal. You’ll want to look for newer energy-efficient models that have a high R-value.
Winterizing Your Home
Winterizing your Indianapolis home doesn’t have to be complicated. Proper winterization helps ensure that you don’t face costly utility bills that you could avoid with proper insulation. It also helps ensure the comfort of your home through the entire cold winter season. There are numerous ways to better the insulation of your windows and doors. When unsure, it helps to turn to a professional. They will be able to access your current situation and offer the best advice for your specific needs.