As the weather turns colder and we prepare for the first snow of the season, homeowners throughout Utah are beginning to think about heating and air concerns for the upcoming winter. Ensuring the home stays warm during these months is vital, and preparing now during the fall is important to make sure you aren’t behind.
At All Hours Plumbing, we can help. Our furnace and heating services include comprehensive inspections and tune-ups for all your important heating elements, from your furnace itself to filters, ducts and more. One area we regularly find to have an impact on your home’s heating capacity during winter? The windows, which control how easily air can enter and exit the house. Let’s look at some important areas when it comes to properly sealing your windows to keep your HVAC bill down this winter.
One of the primary heating issues in the winter when it comes to windows is gaps, which allow small bits of warm air to escape the home and force the furnace to work overtime to replace it. This often happens during window installation, when contractors need some wiggle room to get windows in place – but then don’t seal these gaps properly on the back end.
In some cases, these gaps will be noticeable to the naked eye. In these cases, you can fill them spray foam insulation yourself – as long as you’re careful about removing the window molding and not exposing the casing. This involves removing and reinstalling the molding, plus possibly some repainting, so you want to be absolutely sure you have a gap here before you do it.
What about if you’re unsure? Well, that’s where our pros can help. Our technicians can run basic thermal imaging on your windows as part of an energy efficiency audit; this imaging can show air leaks even if you can’t pick them out yourself.
In most cases, the simplest (and cheapest) option for small gaps in windows is adding materials from the inside. You can replace cracked or chipped weather stripping, for starters, or simply install a new type that offers more comprehensive protection than an older brand. You can also purchase an insulation kit from a hardware store, then install these plastic clings easily in important areas.
In some cases, larger additions will be needed. A full-on window replacement is your last resort, but you can often head this off by using storm windows – they come at a far lower price, and can add major efficiency to your home. They’re meant to be installed directly over current windows, creating a layer of air that provides its own extra insulation while reducing drafts and air escaping. They come at a variety of prices and can be customized to fit your window size.
For more on important window sealing methods ahead of winter, or to learn about any of our heating and air services, speak to the staff at All Hours Plumbing today.