Raise your hand if you’ve ever put a towel in the window to stop the cold air or moisture from coming into the house. As both of my hands go up, it’s a silly practice once you realize how cheap and easy it is to add window weather stripping.
Today, I’m going over a few of the more prominent benefits of checking your windows before winter hits. And, I’ll touch on where you add it and the cost of doing it yourself.
In reality, adding weather stripping is one of the easiest things to do in the home.
4 Practical Reasons to Check the Window Weather Stripping
Making sure your weather stripping is in prime condition does a lot for the home. Not only does it stop cold air from coming through the windows, but it can save you a TON of money in the long run.
And yes, all of this contributes to living greener.
1. Curbs Cold Blasts of Air
When you’re sitting on the couch watching a moving, the last thing you expect is a cool breeze across the back of your neck. The same can be said when standing in the shower or when you’re trying to sleep.
Well, unless the cool air provides a bit of comfort. I know I sleep better when the temperature is much lower.
But for those who don’t like sudden chills, cool air coming through your windows might be the culprit. I lived in a trailer so riddled with holes I used to say it was our “block of swiss cheese.” And the windows played a big part in cooling the trailer in the winter.
2. Internal Water Damage to the Window and Walls
When your window weather stripping is rotted or leaving gaps when shut, this can cause an issue with water damage. From rain to snow, any moisture can start to rot the sill, wood frames, and drywall.
Over time, this can cause an incredible amount of damage, which leads to hefty repair bills. Depending on how long you let the problem continue, you’re easily looking at thousands of dollars worth of repair.
And what if the damage is occurring above a power socket? Have you ever tried to plug something into a wet outlet? It’s quite disconcerting.
3. Damage to the Carpet, Padding, or Hardwood
Speaking of damage, the windows and walls are not the only thing you’ll have to repair. A consistent drip of water throughout the winter, as snow melts on the window, can lead to a severe problem.
Not only can poor window weather stripping lead to water damage on the carpets and padding, but mold can take hold later on. This leads to poor air quality, allergic reactions, and severe illnesses depending on the individual.
I’m highly sensitive to molds. I’ll develop everything from headaches to bouts of uncontrollable sneezing.
At this rate, you’ll spend even more repairing the floors and anything that rests on them. I had to throw out one of my favorite end tables because water damage rotted the base and stuck it to the carpet.
Nowadays, I own my home and am accountable to myself.
4. Saves Money on Energy Use
Repairing or replacing the weather strips will lead to a lower energy bill. This is because the home is more capable of sustaining its temperature.
From heat in the winter to cool air in the summer, a cheap weather strip can go a long way.
Your thermostat attempts to keep your home a specific temperature. When it fluctuates, the HVAC unit kicks on. This is power you’re consuming, which can ramp up the energy bill.
Now, replacement window weather stripping won’t turn your home into the seasonal equivalent of Fort Knox. But, it will directly affect how much power you’re consuming just to make the house comfortable.
Where Does the Window Weather Stripping Go?
Weatherstripping is an incredibly easy process. And where you install the weather strip is determined by the type you purchase.
For instance, you can use urethane foam tape. This is a foam that is very sticky on one side that you apply to a surface. It creates a seal when the window or door is closed. It’s also one of the cheapest types of stripping.
But, you also need to consider about the gap you’re trying to fill. This is why urethane foam comes in a variety of widths.
Some experts will place the foam on the window itself, while others will apply it to the frame when the window is closed.
I suggest taking a look at various weatherstripping practices on YouTube. Of course, keep in mind the type of stripping you’re going to use. Not every type is perfect for every situation.
This is just one of MANY videos available on YouTube. I suggest taking a look to see if you can find something that fits your situation. As I said, it’s incredibly easy to do.
How Much Does Window Weather Stripping Cost to Install?
The stripping itself is relatively cheap. Depending on the width, thickness, and length, you can spend anywhere from just over $2 for window weather stripping at Home Depot to T-Slot foam sealants for more than $20.
As this is one of the more common home improvement materials, you can find window weather stripping almost anywhere. In fact, I picked up a roll of it from Walmart that has lasted me quite a long time.
As for time, it’ll probably take you less than three minutes to apply the strip. This also depends on the type you buy, but most jobs are relatively quick and easy.
If you need to add caulking to the outer window, which you may also want to check, I like the Dynaflex Outdoor Sealant. It usually runs about $5 a tube and can seal quite a few windows.
Just remember to pick up a caulk-applicator gun.
But whichever you decide, make sure the caulking is waterproof.
In the end, $10 and less than 5 minutes of your time today can save you more than $1,000 in repairs and the costs of constantly running the HVAC unit.
How is Your Window Weather Stripping Holding Up?
When it comes to preparing the home for winter, checking the windows probably should be first on your list. It ranks right up there with replacing the furnace filter as it can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Anything to reduce the amount of money you spend on energy costs is practical, especially for those who live on a strict budget. And the less energy you use, the “greener” your home becomes.
Michael has been interested in the practicality of living green for quite some time. He works closely with GreenGeeks Web Hosting as the Content Marketing Team Lead and an author of various articles.