A breeze is nice until it starts interfering with the temperatures of winter heating and summer cooling thermostats. Then the seemingly innocent breeze robs you of your money and your house feels like Antarctica or the Sahara Desert no matter how much you adjust the thermostat. Paying for high heating or cooling costs can wipe out any savings set aside for home improvement or weatherproofing projects – leaving you no money to fix the leaky windows that are letting in the seemingly innocent breeze. To get out of the vicious cycle of not being able to improve your home to save money because your home is costing you too much money, start with some real cheap foam or felt weatherstripping and do one window at a time. You can always upgrade later or call Window Replacements Chicago specialists.
Foam weatherstripping, sponge weatherstripping and felt weatherstripping only costs a few dollars a roll (technically, a coil). In fact, one roll is less than the cost of a value meal at a fast-food restaurant. Durable vinyl rubber weatherstripping is only slightly more. Skip the drive-thru one day a week and buy a package of cheap weatherstripping. It’s as easy to install as it is to cut and tape wrapping paper for a gift – probably even easier. And you’ll start saving money on your energy bill immediately after its installed.
It’s rare for a window in a newly built home not to have weatherstripping, but the majority of homes standing today didn’t come with the luxury of having weatherstripping pre-installed. Over 10% of your energy bill can be saved just by installing weatherstripping on your windows. Of course, the exact amount of savings will vary based on your style of windows, choice of weatherstripping, and environmental factors. If you’re interested in more accurate averages to help estimate your investment and savings, there are government websites that are overflowing with statistics on household and state energy use.
Once you decide to skip that value meal and finally weatherstrip your windows, you might find yourself gawking at various weatherstripping types. Before you head to the hardware store, measure your windows and your gaps – weatherstripping comes in many different sizes. If that sounds like too much work, start with buying a package of plastic foam tape. It comes with a self-adhesive, and is the easiest and quickest to install – and likely the lowest priced. You will have to replace it in a couple years, but you can then decide whether to upgrade or continue replacing it. Plastic foam tape is meant for windows that aren’t used a lot, and they can’t handle a lot of friction or they’ll wear out. Chances are you won’t be opening your windows in the dead of winter anyhow.
To install plastic foam weatherstripping, just use household scissors to cut a piece of weatherstripping to fit the window side or sash, peel and stick. Just make sure the surface you’re putting it on is free from dirt and oily substances or it won’t stick. And the foam weatherstripping won’t adhere well if you’re trying to put it on during a cold weather, so plan accordingly. If it’s winter and you have to get something up quick, try some felt weatherstripping.
Felt weatherstripping is an old classic standby, and holds up a little better than the foam. Try and get a wool pre-shrunk felt instead of hair felt because it will last longer. You can buy felt weatherstripping lined with thin aluminum stripping for even better protection. To install the felt weatherstripping, you’ll just cut and tack it on instead of sticking it on – thereby eliminating any problems caused by dirt or grease. Of course, you can buy felt weatherstripping that has a self-adhesive just like the foam weatherstripping.
If you can spend just a couple more dollars, vinyl covered rubber strips will last a lot longer and give you more protection, so you’ll start saving more money, sooner. Vinyl rubber weatherstripping also comes with a self-adhesive and has the same easy “cut, peel and stick” installation process.
Any weatherstripping is better than no weatherstripping. Start getting ready for the upcoming seasons and put up some weatherstripping to control the outside breeze. The innocent breeze will soon learn that its welcome through an open window, but it can’t rob you of your money when your window is closed shut. Soon, your house will start feeling comfortable, and you’ll be able to afford dessert after splurging on an extra value meal.
Jerry K. from SMB9, inc. – Chicago Vinyl Siding Company.