Make sure your house is completely ready to handle Mother Nature’s most challenging season
Even though it happens every single year, winter always seems to catch some of us by surprise. The first few flakes fall and we all think “uh oh, I am NOT ready for this.” Maybe it’s denial? Maybe it’s procrastination? Whatever it is, it doesn’t change the fact that winter is absolutely coming. The snow is coming, the ice is coming, the blizzards, the sleet, and the temperatures that take your breath away are all definitely coming. Don’t worry, though, there’s something you can do about it!
Proper preparation is key. Ensuring your home is fully winterized will absolutely help take some of the sting out of the season. It will help keep you cozy, safe, and energy efficient regardless of what fun surprises Mother Nature decides to throw your way.
Let’s take a look at some simple and effective ways to ensure your home is fully prepared for winter.
Sealing your windows and doors is probably the most important thing you can do when it comes to winter preparation. Not only will it keep your home cozy and warm, but it will also help keep that heating bill in control.
So, that being said, what’s the status of your weatherstripping? You know, the stuff that goes around your windows and doors to ensure that they are tightly sealed. Take a few minutes to stroll around your home to look for possible leakage points—places where air is either escaping or coming into your home. Once you’ve identified the windows and doors that are less than optimally airtight, you need to decide what sort of weatherstripping you need to properly seal those areas.
There are multiple types of weatherstripping. Each type offers different advantages and is ideal for different types of windows and doors. Here’s a quick look at the different types of weatherstripping to help you decide which one is right for you and your home.
V-Channel weatherstripping is either made of vinyl, which is self-adhesive, or thin lengths of flexible metal, which are nailed into place. V-Channel weatherstripping is considered to be a very durable option. It is effective at sealing Double Hung or Sliding windows and all kinds of doors.
Weatherstripping tapes are a popular option because they are relatively inexpensive and also very simple and easy to install. Tapes are made out of either felt or foam and are self-adhesive. They may not be a long-term solution, but all you have to do is cut the tape to size and put into place around any window or door to help keep them nice and airtight.
Door sweeps are ideal for, well, doors. Exterior doors and entryways are often one of the biggest culprits when it comes to letting in the chill of winter. Sweeps are attached to the bottom of your exterior door or entryway to help avoid leakage at the bottom where the door doesn’t quite meet the ground. They are made of vinyl, rubber, or with bristles and are easy to purchase and install.
Tubular in shape and made of rubber or rubber-like materials, gaskets are designed to help keep exterior doors or entryways airtight. They’re nailed or screwed to the bottom of your door to help create a tight seal. They are similar to the above-mentioned door sweeps in effect but slightly different in function. One plus is that they’re very durable!
It makes sense that windows and doors are the most common areas in your home that allow air to move in and out. Luckily, there are multiple easy, simple, and inexpensive solutions. Caulking can help complement other efforts, such as weatherstripping, and provide a clean, long-term solution to leaking windows and doors. That’s a plus for your comfort and for your home’s heating budget.
We recommend using silicone for sealing any cracks or leakage points around the interior of your windows. It can be clear and colourless, which helps it blend in to its surroundings. It is also very flexible and completely water and moisture repellent, which will definitely help with all of the pesky snow, ice, and sleet that winter is so famous for.
All you need is a caulking gun and a tube of silicone and you’re off to the races.
Plastic Film Insulation
Homes that have older windows will definitely benefit from this quick and effective solution. Essentially, instead of sealing around the window with weatherstripping or caulking, you’re covering the entirety of the window frame with a protective layer of plastic. It prevents any air from escaping or entering and is very effective at insulating spaces. The plastic is clear, so it doesn’t obstruct your view or the amount of natural light in the space. It’s also not cumbersome or distracting.
This solution is as easy as it gets. It’s also BFFs with your budget. All you need is the plastic, which is easy to purchase anywhere, scissors, packing tape, and a hair dryer. Simply cut the plastic to size, affix over the entirety of the interior of the window frame, and then use the warm air from the hair dryer to make the plastic tight and snug.
There are other areas of your home that need attention before the first blizzard blows into town. Cleaning out your eavestroughs and gutters to make sure they don’t have any leaves, twigs, or other lovely autumnal gunk is a smart thing to do. This will help water move freely during winter and prevent ice blockages, icicles, and other potentially problematic issues.
Winter is the season where we probably get the least fresh air in our homes. Why? Because the air is very cold, usually. That means we’re breathing lots more forced air. Be sure to change the filters in your central air and heating system to keep air quality and operational efficiency high.
Winter is coming. Let’s make sure that you are ready.
To learn more about how JELD-WEN windows, interior and exterior doors that can keep you cozy all year round—yes, including winter—while also keeping your home efficient, please browse the JELD-WEN Canada collections.