How to Insulate Sliding Windows


Similar to sliding patio doors, sliding windows contain two panes of glass and a track for one of the panes. The windows are available in a variety of sizes, styles and materials. Sliding windows are not immune to aging and the weather. Wind can seep into the rubber gasket around the panes, and gaps in the gasket allow moisture to enter. The answer is to insulate the sliding windows, saving on energy costs.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft cloth or rag
  • Caulk
  • Utility knife
  • Caulk gun
  • Expanding foam sealant
  • Tape measure
  • Weatherstripping

Applying Caulk

  • Wipe the sliding window and its frame with a soft cloth or rag to remove any loose dirt and dust.

  • Cut the tip off of a tube of caulking with a utility knife. Place the tube of caulking in a caulk gun. Push the gun's push rod into the tube.

  • Hold the caulk gun at a 45-degree angle and place a layer of caulking along each side of the sliding window's frame where the frame meets the wood.

  • Spray expanding foam sealant into any large holes along the window frame.

Applying Weatherstripping

  • Measure the height and width of your sliding window, using a tape measure.

  • Cut the weatherstripping to the measurements, using a utility knife.

  • Peel off the tape from the back of each piece of weatherstripping. Place the cut weatherstripping around the top and bottom frame, as well as the side of the stationary window pane below the caulking surrounding your sliding window. Press the weatherstripping into the frame.

  • Open the sliding window. The window should move freely along the frame track. If you encounter resistance, pull off the weatherstripping and reapply it so it is not sticking to the caulking around the window frame.

Tips & Warnings

  • Heavy curtains and blackout curtains also can insulate sliding windows.
  • Wear work gloves to keep your hands clean.

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  • Photo Credit windows image by berean from
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