Winterization is the process of preparing a home or other object or area for winter. It is a particularly important process for homes that are located in areas with very harsh winters. Winterization typically involves sealing up the home to prevent cold air from entering it and warm air from escaping. Many summer homes require winterizing in the fall.
Any apertures between your window frames and the surrounding wall will allow drafts into your home. Air leaks in your windows allow warm air to escape and cold air to enter your home during the winter, causing your home to become very cold.
It is possible to check for air leaks by simply standing in front of your window and feeling for drafts. However, a more foolproof method is to hold a lighted candle about 6 inches away from your window and move it around. If the candle flame flickers, it is an indication that you have an air leak around that area and you should check for the source and fix the problem. This may involve simply securing loose window frames, or it may mean you have to install weather stripping between the window frame and the wall. You may also have to secure your frame using window caulking around its perimeter to stop air leaks.
The most important thing when winterizing your storm windows is to ensure that they fit snugly and securely. The tracks should be securely attached to the building and repaired if necessary. This is to minimize the damage that occurs in the event of violent winter storms.
Caulking around the frame of your storm windows can help prevent drafts. They should also always be closed completely because warm air can escape and cold air can enter through the smallest of cracks. Even an aperture of only a quarter of an inch can cause your home to feel drafty.
Blinds and insulated shades are good additions to your home in the winter months because they help keep warm air in and cold air out. Blinds are especially good because you can easily adjust them to let the sun's rays in during the daytime and keep out the cold air during the night.
Window quilts can also be attached to the frames of your windows to improve insulation and help keep warm air in. These can be pulled aside during the day to let the sun warm up your room. Solar curtains, too, allow sun rays in during the day but prevent heat loss at night. The choice you make will depend on which one looks most pleasing to you and which is the most effective for your particular home.
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