Five Tips for Winter-Proofing Your Windows and Doors

October 25, 2017

Given the unseasonable warmth that much of Canada has been experiencing this fall, it’s hard to believe it’s ever going to change. Yet, inevitably, the tide will soon turn and we’ll be greeted by the traditional signs of a Canadian winter: tundra-like snow and cold.

During the winter months, homeowners spend far more money on utilities than during any other season – particularly on heating. Oftentimes, the higher bills are due to ineffective windows and doors that let the cold air in and the hot air out. So before the winter sets in it’s a good idea to inspect your windows and doors to make sure they are in good condition and ready to battle the elements.

In case you’re not sure where to start, here’s our guide for preparing your windows and doors for the Canadian winter that’s sure to come:

Check weather stripping

Weather stripping uses various materials to seal around windows and doors so there aren’t any gaps between the fixture and the frame. Over time, weather stripping can become worn and ineffective, resulting in air leakage and higher heating bills.

Before the winter months arrive, it’s a good idea to inspect the weather striping around your windows and doors and replace where necessary. Doing so could save you up to 15% on your heating bills. There are a variety of different seals so make sure you choose correct type for your windows and doors. For example, felt is ideal for a sash window while tension seal is ideal for double hung windows.1

Install a storm door

Installing a storm door to the exterior of your front door adds an extra layer of protection and insulation for your home in the winter. Some storm doors even contain special glass or coatings that can reduce energy loss through the front entrance by up to 50%.2

Investing in a storm door (which are relatively inexpensive to buy) also helps to protect your front entrance door from the harshness of snow and sleek, which can wreak havoc on paintwork and detailing.

Repair damage to frames

Wooden frames, a favourite amongst homeowners for their classic appearance, can deteriorate over the years and become warped and worn, causing windows and doors to be misaligned and creating gaps and cracks that lead to air transfer.

Repairing or sealing window and door frames helps to regulate the temperature indoors. Start by scraping off any debris and rot and then thoroughly clean the area before treating the frames with wood filler. Some sections of your window or door frames might need to be replaced and filled if they are beyond repair.

Install heavy curtains or drapes

Heavy curtains and drapes are not only a great way to improve the aesthetic appeal of your home - they are also perfect for optimising insulation, especially during the winter months. In fact, drapes can reduce heat loss by up to 10% when closed by acting as an extra barrier that helps to prevent cold air transfer from the outside. Heavyweight, tightly woven fabrics such as velvet, tweed and suede are particularly effective at keeping cold air at bay. However, if you prefer the look of cotton or canvas, try layering two curtains together for added protection.

Replace old windows and doors

If your home has older windows and doors, the likelihood is that they are not very energy efficient. Oftentimes, older windows and doors contain single paned glass, which doesn’t offer much protection against the elements and, over time, locking mechanisms and other materials deteriorate and become less effective at preventing air transfer.

European-style Tilt & Turn windows and doors are a great option for increasing a home’s energy efficiency and keeping the cold winter air outside where it belongs. Tilt & Turn products contain glass that is 30% thicker than the panes in standard windows and doors, and also contain a multi-point locking system that ensures the windows and doors are flush against the frame when in the closed position. These features not only help to keep your home comfortable in winter – they also help to keep your home secure year round. Moreover, the 3D, fully adjustable hardware used in the locking system enables windows and doors to be easily re-aligned with the frames when needed. 

To find out more about preparing your home’s windows and doors for winter or to learn more about European-style Tilt & Turn windows, contact Catana today!


https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/essential-guide-to-weatherstripping

https://www.angieslist.com/articles/4-benefits-installing-storm-door.htm

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