How to Prepare Your Windows for Winter Weather

Ready or not – winter is upon us! It came up fast and appears it might be sticking around for a little while. As the cold winds blow and the temperatures drop, we crank the thermostat and bundle up. Now drafty windows and doors are more apparent. Here are some helpful tips on how to prepare your windows for winter weather.

  • Lock your windows and doors .  Although this seems simple, it is an important task that is often overlooked.  Windows and doors perform at their best when they are in their locked position. So make sure that they are locked, not just closed.
  • Clean your windows. Clean any sand, dirt or dust from door and window hinges, sills and tracks. Debris can jeopardize the tightness of the seal around your window & door. Clean with a mild cleanser and get a close up look at any potential window deterioration.
  • Check for drafts and gaps.  Does everything seem tight? An easy way to detect exterior air infiltration from is to safely guide a candle, or lighter around the perimeter of the frame and note where the flame flickers. A flicker means air is moving in from outside – which is a draft.
  • Seal drafts and gaps.  First, replace any old deteriorated weatherstripping. Weatherstripping is designed to act as a barrier between the sash and frame to reduce air and water infiltration. Make sure it is still in good condition. Inspect the exterior caulking around the outer edges of the window frame. Seal off any gaps with a good quality caulk.
  • Remove your screens. Use this time to clean and inspect your screens. We recommend labeling which window your screen came out of for easier replacement in the spring.  Store and put on storm windows (if applicable). This will prevent damage caused in the winter months.

Don’t delay because winter is already upon us. Use this time before the holidays to get your windows and doors prepared for the months ahead. Did you follow this list and still find major drafts? Then it may be time to replace your windows and doors.  Not sure where to begin? Learn about replacement windows from Windows & Doors By Brownell.