Old windows, along with old houses, have a certain charm. While many owners of historic homes appreciate the beauty the windows offer, some wish that they were more efficient. Unfortunately, modern windows can ruin the historical character of a home, so keeping the old windows are a non-negotiable for some people. Perhaps you're one of them. The good news is that you can have your old windows and the efficiency you (and your wallet) need by making the following improvements.
Install Magnetic Interior Storm Windows
One easy way to make the windows more efficient without ruining the exterior charm is by installing magnetic interior storm windows. These thin windows are lined around the edges with a magnetic strip. The magnet sticks to metal around each pane of the window. They're removable, so you can take them off to open up your windows and circulate air. But when they're on, they're airtight. It creates a dead air space to prevent significant loss of heat through the windows. In fact, the Department of Energy estimates that storm windows can help you save $120-$330 or more annually if your windows are leaky.
Inspect and Replace Weatherstripping
Inspect your windows where they meet each other and where they meet the frame. You should have quality weatherstripping in those areas. If it's worn out or missing altogether, replace it to create an airtight seal between the window's moving parts. You may need to remove the window sashes to apply the weatherstripping, but this is easy to do. A vinyl tube seal works best for the bottom of the lower sash and the top of the upper sash, but you may need to cut a groove in the wood to make them fit perfectly.
Re-glaze the Windows
Old windows use glaze to create an airtight seal between the wood frame and the windowpane. As glaze ages, it begins to chip and flake off. Air then gets into the spaces between the wood and the glass, causing your home to lose heat in the winter and gain it in the summer. It's also responsible for that rattling sound that old windows are notorious for.
Re-glazing will make your windows more efficient and quieter. It's a simple process, even if it is tedious. Begin by scraping away the old glaze along each edge where the wood meets the window. Once the glaze is removed, sand the wood to create a smooth, dry surface. Finally, use a clean, dry brush to clean up all the dust before you apply the glaze.
The type of glaze you use is based on your personal preferences, but caulk-style glaze is sometimes difficult to deal with if you don't have a steady hand. It also sets up quickly, so if you make a mistake that you don't notice right away, you may be in trouble. Putty-style glaze is easy to put into place. Warm it in your hand, and roll it out like a snake against the wood. Use a putty knife to push it into the corners where the glass and wood meet. When you're sure the crack is full, trim the excess putty off.
Window maintenance is often overlooked, but it should be a normal part of your home care routine if you're serious about saving energy. Although replacing the windows with modern, energy efficient glass would yield the greatest savings, you'll still see a significant improvement in terms of energy savings when you implement the above tips. Additional measures such as repairing broken or cracked windows and installing thermal curtains can also keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
For more information, contact a local glass repair company, or visit http://www.centralglassutah.com.