With summer coming to a close, it is time to focus on fall preparations as the weather changes. Windows and doors should be a priority. Failure to seal in warm air, after all, can lead to higher heating bills.
With the temperature about to drop soon, you should know how to prepare your home for cool weather. Here are a few things you should do before fall arrives:
- Check for draft in every room.
- Inspect the insulation in your walls.
- Check for air leaks both from the inside and outside of your home.
- Seal electrical outlets that might be leaking air.
- Seal the trim of your windows and doors.
- Install weather stripping material to all windows and doors.
Check for Draft
The first thing you should do is check all windows and doors for draft. Cold air must stay outside so your family stays warm inside. This way, you can reduce energy consumption and cut down heating costs. If you spot a rush of air, fix the opening right away.
Run your hand around the edges of windows and doors to feel for drafts. Another way to check for drafts is to hold up a lighted candle near the window seam. If the flame flickers in any direction, it is a sign that air is moving. Consider installing heavy or insulated drapes over drafty windows. If necessary, repair seals and caulking around the frames.
Perform a Smoke Test
Some drafts are difficult to detect. A smoke test can help you find smaller air leaks in your home. Follow these steps to perform a smoke test:
- Make sure that all of the windows and doors are shut tight.
- Turn off any combustible appliances such as stoves, gas ranges, ovens, and space heaters.
- Turn on the exhaust ventilation systems in the bathroom and kitchen.
- Light a stick of incense and place it near potential draft areas.
- If the smoke changes direction and travels inward, it is a sign of draft.
Remove Temporary Screens
If you have temporary screen doors, it is time to remove them and place them in storage. Many landlords take off screen doors after the summer and put them back the following year. In place of screens, install storm windows if needed.
Inspect and Repair External Doors
Fall preparations include checking all your external doors. Does the garage door close tightly? Now is the perfect time to install door thresholds and apply weather stripping if needed.
Clean Your Windows Inside Out
Arizona summers can be hard on windows. Dust and pollen can stick to every surface during hot weather. Give your windows a deep wash to get rid of dirt buildup.
Inspect and Repair Caulk and Seals
One of the most important things to check off your fall preparations list is caulk and seals. Summer tends to dry out and crack exterior caulk. Outside air can easily seep through these cracks and can lead to water damage as well.
Look around every entry point and check for missing or damaged caulk. Inspect your window frames, window panes, and any opening for gas, phone, cable, and electricity. Seal any gaps with appropriate caulk.
Then, replace sealing in areas that might have been exposed to a lot of sunlight. If you notice breaks or cracks in the sealant, fix it in order to prevent drafts.
Old putty can loosen the seal along the glass over time. Tap the window pane to see if it rattles. If it does, then you need to replace the glazing.
Finally, do not forget to inspect the threshold under each door. If sunlight is able to shine through, then the opening needs to be sealed shut.
Check and Install Weather Stripping
Weather stripping is the most cost-effective way to keep drafts out and make your home comfortable all year. It also helps lower your heating and cooling costs. Weather stripping can deteriorate over time, so you should inspect it as the season changes.
Check all weather stripping on doors and windows. If you spot any damage, replace the material right away. There are two ways to inspect your weather stripping:
- Place a piece of paper under the window or door. If the paper slides easily as you close the door or window, then your weather stripping is loose.
- Hold a lighted candle near the frame and close the door or window. If the flame flickers, you could have an air leak.
Repair Cracks or Damage
Do not put off repairing visible damage such as broken windows or cracked doors. Moisture leaks could cause significant damage to surrounding areas if left unattended for a long period of time.
Install Energy-Efficient Windows and Doors
Double or triple pane windows are more energy efficient than single pane glass. New doors can also help reduce air leakage. Replacing your old windows and doors can help you save significant money.
Glass King is happy to serve the Phoenix area as well as surrounding towns. Our glass experts can help in your fall preparations as you get your home ready for the cold. Set an appointment with us today if you need professional advice on glass repair or replacement.