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10 Ways To Improve The Energy-Efficiency Of Your Old Windows

April 11th, 2023 | 7 min. read

10 Ways To Improve The Energy-Efficiency Of Your Old Windows

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Maybe you’ve noticed a lot of heat coming through your windows. Or maybe you’ve felt a draft coming in along the sides of your windows. 

Just like any other part of a home, your windows age over time. They become worn and frail and don’t function as well as they used to. 

Whether your windows aren’t protecting your home from the sunlight and heat or notice moisture collecting around the frame, you want a simple solution to improve the functionality of your windows. 

You aren’t ready to invest in a full window replacement, but you want to elevate your home and improve the efficiency of your windows for less. 

So, how can you do it? 


10 Ways To Improve The Energy Efficiency Of Your Windows

Replacing your old windows with new, energy-efficient replacement windows is the most impactful way to improve the efficiency of your windows and your home. 

However, you can improve your current windows in many other ways without breaking the bank. 


1. Improve Caulking Around Window Seams

If you feel drafts coming in around your windows or notice visual deterioration around the seams, one of the easiest ways to improve the window is by fixing any peeling, cracking, or missing caulk. 

Caulking around your windows creates a complete seam that not only seals your window into your home but keeps outside elements, like wind, insects, and pollen, from entering your home. 

If the caulk is damaged, it allows air to pass to and from your home, making your HVAC unit work harder to regulate your home's temperature. 

Improving and resealing your windows that have failing caulk will make your home more insulated and energy efficient. 


2. Add Weather Stripping Around Window Seams

Weather stripping is another simple and DIY-friendly way to improve the insulation of your windows. 

Weather stripping is typically made of a foam material and is widely available at most Big Box hardware stores. It is easy to peel and stick along the seams of your window to further protect the caulking, cover any minuscule holes or openings, and protect your windows. 

This will protect your windows from unwanted drafts, bugs, and moisture or allow any outside elements to intrude into your home. 


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3. Replace Old Windows With Window Inserts

If you want to replace your windows without spending tens of thousands of dollars, window inserts may be the right solution for you. 

Insert window replacements are less expensive than full window replacements, can be done yourself, and are much easier and quicker to install. They provide you with a simpler solution to upgrading your old windows without the hassle of fully tearing out your frame. 

You can purchase insert windows for around $200-$400 and install them yourself. Or you can hire a professional contractor that specializes in insert window installations to ensure your windows will last and protect your home. 


4. Install Storm Windows 

Similar to insert windows, storm windows are an insert you can easily install. The difference is that storm windows are installed on top of your current windows. They can be installed on the exterior and interior of your windows. 

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, storm windows can provide the same energy-efficient properties as new replacement windows for about ⅓ of the cost. They improve the insulation of your current windows, provide added protection against harsh UV and infrared rays, and help soundproof your home. 

Adding storm windows to your current windows is like putting on a fluffy coat over a light jacket. You are further protected from outside elements, and you are better insulated. 


5. Install New Window Coverings

Did you know that window coverings can improve the overall energy efficiency of your home? It’s true!

New window coverings help block harmful solar rays from entering your home. Solar rays turn into heat and can also damage your furniture, pets, and yourself. Window coverings also provide added insulation to your windows, helping your home remain the same temperature year-round. 

If your window coverings are damaged, or you don’t have window coverings at all, consider upgrading your windows with high-quality blinds, shutters, shades, or drapes to improve the energy efficiency of your windows and your home. 

Schedule your commitment-free consultation with Blinded By Delight today to upgrade your window coverings and elevate your space! 


6. Add Energy-Efficient Curtains

If you’re looking for an easier interior project you can do yourself to improve your windows’ energy efficiency, consider installing curtains or draperies. 

What makes this project so simple and affordable is you can purchase all the supplies you need at many hardware and home decor stores. Blackout curtains will help block sunlight and solar heat from intruding into your home, keeping it cooler during the warmer months. 

Installing thicker curtains or drapes to your windows that receive the most sunlight will help block heat from entering your home and also insulate your windows and your home. 


7. Install Outdoor Awnings 

One of the best ways to improve the efficiency of your windows and upgrade your outdoor space is by installing awnings over your windows. Awnings are most popular on windows overlooking porches and other outdoor areas. 

If you want to add shade to your exterior and interior spaces, awnings may be the right solution for you. They help block excess sunlight and solar heat from penetrating through your windows, which helps them to last longer because of the less wear on the glass. 

This will help provide more shade inside your home and keep it cooler, improving the regulation of temperature in your home. 


8. Install Exterior Shutters Outside Of Windows 

Another way to elevate your exterior and improve the efficiency of your windows is by installing functioning exterior shutters.  

Exterior shutters can be easily installed yourself and provide an added barrier and protection to your windows when closed. They will help block harmful solar rays that come through your windows and help any window films or coatings last longer. 

Installing exterior shutters around your windows won’t only provide your home with a new look but will also help insulate your home when closed during extreme weather. 


9. Add Solar-Blocking Window Film 

Window films are easy to install, provide a sleek and simple look, and you can even buy them on Amazon

Sun-blocking window films are perfect for you if you want to add a colored tint to your windows and provide more shade for your home. Tinted window films will help block certain rays and reflect sunlight, which helps keep your home cooler. 


Schedule your commitment-free consultation today!


10. Add Decorative Stained Glass Or Window Films

If you’re looking for a fun and fabulous way to help block sunlight coming into your home, try applying decorative window films or stained glass on your window sills. 

Either of these options, while they won’t yield the most energy-efficient results, will help block and deflect some sunlight and sun heat (in a visually appealing way). 

Adding DIY window film or stained glass in your window frames is also renter-friendly, so if you do not own a home but have noticed your windows heating your interior, try this energy-efficient hack. 


Improving Your Windows And The Efficiency Of Your Home

Now you know 10 ways to improve the energy efficiency of your windows and your home and can choose the best solution that fits your home and start your project. 

  • If you want to get maximum energy efficiency on your current windows, consider installing new insert windows, storm windows or fixing and reapplying failing caulk. 
  • If you’re looking for a project to add and enhance the design of your windows, adding new window coverings, curtains, outdoor awnings, or exterior shutters may be the project you are looking for. 
  • For simpler, quick DIY projects to improve your windows, try adding tinted or decorative window film or stained glass to help block sunlight and solar heat. 

Each of these projects is fairly inexpensive and DIY friendly. They can all yield successful results in improved efficiency of windows and your home.  

Although Southwest Exteriors only offer full window replacements, we aren’t here to convince you to replace your windows if it isn’t necessary. We are here to educate you and help you find the right solution for you, whether it includes us or not. 

If you try any of these 10 window improvements but don’t see the results you want, a window replacement may be your only option left. 

Want to learn more about when it’s time to replace your windows? Check out this article that outlines three common signs you need a window replacement and what to do next.