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In November 2015, Winter Storm Bella hit Illinois with over a foot of snowfall. Some areas, like Grayslake, received a whopping 16 inches of snow. And Moline set a record for November snowstorms with 9.9 inches of snow.
Consequently, you can expect December and January to bring ice-cold temperatures this year. If you want to stay snug in your home, make sure your windows receive proper attention.
According to Energy.gov, drafty windows account for approximately 10% to 25% of your heating bill. To cut costs, trap in heat via the following techniques.
1. Install Insulation Film
Many home department stores offer window insulation kits that feature plastic film as well as double-sided tape. Simply apply the tape to the frame, and then position the plastic so it covers the glass. Use scissors to cut away the excess film. When you feel ready, dry the film with a hair dryer so the plastic tightens and seals the window.
Once installed, the plastic film creates an insulating gap of still air. As a result, the insulation reduces heat transfer between your home and the outside air. But keep in mind that these window insulation kits don't last much longer than one or two seasons. You'll need to peel the old film away and reapply a new film every year.
2. Swap Drapes for Cellular Shades
Heavy drapes do an excellent job at sealing in warmth and keeping the cold drafts at bay. However, these layered window treatments also block a great deal of sunlight, so your living room may look dark, dim, and drab as a result.
If you want to seal your windows without sacrificing sunlight, consider cellular shades or honeycomb blinds. These window treatments feature individual cells that trap air, creating a temperature-transfer barrier. Some cellular shades include translucent materials that still allow light in from the outside, so your home not only feels warm but also looks cozy.
3. Seal the Gaps With Weather Stripping
Windows have a lot of interlocking parts. On the most basic level, the pane needs to fit perfectly within the frame, and the frame needs to fit perfectly in the wall. Any misalignment between the pane and the wall results in gaps and air flow. And as air escapes your home, so does the heat.
To seal the gaps, place weatherstripping around your window's movable components. Depending on your personal preference, you can pick from a variety of materials such as self-stick plastic, felt, foam, or rubber stripping that keeps heat in and keeps cold air out.
4. Replace Windows with Low-E Glass
If you have older windows, you may want to hire an expert to install newer options with Low-E glazing. This glazing allows visible light to pass through the glass, but it reflects longer-wave infrared light.
On a warm summer day, the hot sunshine reflects away from your home, so you need less air conditioning to stay comfortable. Similarly, on a cold winter night, the glazing stops heat from your furnace or space heater from escaping outdoors. The heat reflects back toward you, so you stay snug in cold weather.
When you make any of the above changes to your home, you and your family can stay warmer this winter without emptying your bank account.