Windows: upgrade or tighten up

Windows: upgrade or tighten up

As you begin your house-tightening preparations for winter, take advantage of the restored federal tax credit for energy-efficient windows.

Granted, double- and triple-pane new windows or storm windows to cover single-pane windows can be expensive. If your budget can’t cover new windows, here are two inexpensive tips for tightening up what you have:

  • Caulk and weatherstrip all windows; if you don’t know how, do an Internet search, hire a handyman or check with your local home improvements store. Keep in mind that a 1/16th-inch unsealed crack around a window lets in as much cold air as a window left open 1/2 inch, according to the California Energy Commission’s Consumer Energy Center.
  • Place plastic over single-pane windows. Plastic film window kits are inexpensive and can be easily installed on the inside or outside of existing windows. You also can leave the plastic on in the summer if you use air conditioning. Be sure the air space between the window and the plastic you’re adding is at least 1/2 inch and not more than 4 inches.

 

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