It’s that time of year again – you guessed it, winterizing your windows. With so many options out there, it’s hard to tell what’s actually going to help your home. Strolling up and down the aisles of your local home improvement store can be overwhelming. No fear, we’ll give you some tips that ease your worries and warm you up, not hurt your head.

Tip #1 – Keep your windows on lock

If you have windows that could be deemed ancient, there a few options available for fixing insulation based on appearance and durability. The first solution is cheap, easy, and quick, especially if you’re not too caught up in the way your windows look. It’s called the bubble wrap application, and it’s as simple as using water and tape to make the stuff stick. This fix lends itself more to the temporary side, but it’s great in a pinch to put hundreds of pockets of air between your heated room and the cold window surface. Other interesting materials you can use to fill spaces are newspapers or old tee shirts. Why not get creative?

A more permanent solution would be using caulking cord, which has a clay-like feel to it. You can simply peel off strips of the caulking cord and fit it into any gaps in your window. Easy as that!

Tip #2 – Ditch the Drafts

Once you’ve bubblewrapped or caulked your windows, make sure you everything you can to protect your home from unwanted drafts. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts alone can waste 5%-30% of your energy use! Some easy ways to be mindful of these pesky drafts would be to install screens. This way, windows can be left open when weather is still warm enough without the fear of bugs entering your home.

Another great way to avoid drafts is to remove any air conditioners out of the window during the winter to stop heat from escaping through an open space. Window shades are also an option to keep the sun out during the day and heat in at night. You can keep the shades open during the winter days and closed on summer days or winter nights.

Tip #3 – Install Storm Windows

This tip is definitely the most expensive, but often times necessary when old windows just won’t do the trick. Studies conducted by the federal government have proven that the combination of an adjusted prime sash and good storm sash is as efficient as some replacement windows. The best storm windows – thermally and visually – are wood-framed. However, there are other options that are options such as aluminum storm windows and interior storm windows. Aluminum is a great thermal conductor, therefore it is not much of a barrier to heat loss. Interior storm windows are popular as well when you have extremely high windows or swinging-out casements that don’t bode well for storm windows.

Hopefully these tips will help you get through the winter and stay warm. Weatherizing your windows doesn’t have to be a burden – sometimes all it takes is a little bubble wrap or an old vintage tee!