Everybody wants to sell you new energy-efficient windows. What is the
best that can be done to refurbish/upgrade old wooden windows? I have
outer storm panes so I have an insulating air gap. Seems like old
windows might need a few more gaskets to seal them tighter, but I'm
hoping for something a bit better than the cheesy adhesive foam
strips. Any suggestions? Thanks.
Start a savings account for new windows. Refurbishing is way too
expensive and only justified in an historical restoration. Seal and
calk as best you can until your budget is ready for window
Storm windows do help with the drafts but don't be fooled the air space
between the storm and the window is not "dead air space".
How old is the window? Rope and weights can be replaced with more modern
channels but the cost will be darn close to the cost of a new insulated
thermopane window. Probably more if you hire both jobs done.
Using a removable rope caulk type product to fill the air gaps for the
winter or even longer is about the best looking temporary thing you can do.
Much better looking than those stapled up plastic sheets. Does no damage
when removed like those cheesy adhesive foam strips do. Cleaning that crap
up is an ordeal.
Caulking the upper sash into place so that a double hung window becomes a
single hung will reduce the air flow 50%. I often do this since the upper
sashes rarely work on a 40 year old window.
An interior acrylic storm held in place with magnetic strips seems to work
fairly well in some of the older historical home where modern storm windows
are not allowed. I suspect they would be a PITA to place and take down each
season but how many of us really open windows anymore?
Please come visit http://www.househomerepair.com
Actually, once the mounting strips are installed, removing and
replacing the magnetic storms is VERY simple.
The one brand the window place I worked for carried had the magnets on
the window, and the metal strip mounted to the window frame, once
painted, was virtually invisible.
It was almost unbelievable how much it reduced noise transmission from
the street outside in an old industrial building converted to offices
re: "how many of us really open windows anymore"
Count me as 1.
It's one of the many reasons I decided to replace all of my windows a
year after getting central air.
Aside from the efficiency gains, I got really tired of raising sashes
and storms every time the weather got nice and we wanted fresh air -
especially those windows that are behind a desk or bed, making it next
to impossible to get the required 2 hands on the tabs for the storms
Now it's one hand job for any window with no need to deal with storms.
I can (and do) open every window in my house in matter of a few
minutes with next-to-no effort.
Last year, I made some frames out of wood and stretched and glued a
sheet of mylar on each side. I ripped them out of a white pine 2x4 (~3/8
x 1 1/2) and sealed the wood. Very cheap and very transparent. A little
felt for the seal and a big improvement. Goes on the inside. You could
stack them if you wish with thick felt between. Probably each layer adds
a bit less than R1 (~1.8 per storm) as there is no low e coating. Mylar
degrades in UV so it's best to either have a UV block or not have them
south facing for longest life. Mylar is cheap enough to replace though.
There's also a lot of heat shrink film available. A similar inside storm
can cut your heat loss per window in half.
If you have old double hung, you'll want to tape or otherwise seal the
slots for the weights and where the upper and lower sash meet. Stop any
drafts you feel wherever they are.
If you don't need to look through the window, you can use bubble
wrap. If they are covered, you can just push in some insulation board.
An IR thermometer is helpful in finding thermal breaks. Use it on a
cold day. Whatever you can do to find and reduce weak spots helps a lot.
Just some cheapy ideas, if you have the money, there's really good
windows these days.
I'm not familiar with mylar. Do you mean the stuff they sell as a
reflective window coating? My windows have recessed wound springs as
counterweights. I think the obvious upgrade would be to remove the
lower half (sash?) of each window and install a quality gasket at the
bottom and top.
Yes, but without the reflective coating, otherwise known as polyester. I
suggest 2 mil, 1 mil takes more care. I glued mine on with contact adhesive.
My windows have recessed wound springs as
Felt works well. I cut up a moving blanket. Much thicker and cheaper
than the thin felt Frost King and such sell.
Stop any drafts, then add storms if you like.
Until a few months ago I had little money for weatherizing and did it
all on the cheap. You can do a lot with a little as there are always
major weaknesses in old homes. You just have to find thermal holes and
stop them. They can be anywhere. You may not need to be as frugal as I was.
I never saw it but there was a thermal imaging device that was
available to visually see hot spots which were cold spots for where to
place attention. Was I think part of a energy audit.
Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.