UK winters seem to be getting colder every year and, coupled with the rising gas and electricity prices, getting your house in shape for winter has never been more important.
We spoke with Lawsons & Daughters to find out how their clients insulate their windows for winter. Specialists in the property market, they know the value of protecting your home in the winter.
If not adequately insulated, your windows could account for as much as 20% of the heat lost from your home. That's a lot of warmth and a lot of dosh!
So, as the nights draw in and we reach for our scarves and gloves, don't forget that your windows need a little attention too.
Change the Curtains
Those beautiful, lightweight summer drapes may look good, but they're not doing you any favours. Invest in some thick, insulating winter curtains to banish those draughts and keep the heat in.
Check Your Window Frames
Much of the heat lost through your windows disappears through the frames. Take a walk around your house and check them for any cracks. These sneaky little things let in cold air, and allow cold water to seep into your frames, which could result in them swelling and cracking.
Some cracks may be invisible to the eye. A good tip is to hold a lighted candle next the window and watch the flame. Flickering is a sure sign that air is seeping in. Fill in the cracks and give them a lick of paint to seal them. It's amazing what a difference this simple act can make.
It's also worth checking the draught-excluding strips and replacing any areas that look damaged.
Wash Your Windows
Clean windows let in more sunlight, and in the winter you need as much as you can get. Keeping your windows washed will help to maximise the sunlight in your home, keeping it nice and toasty.
Use Plastic Film
Thin or old single-glazed windows are a major factor in heat loss. If you can't afford (or aren't allowed) to have double-glazing installed, buy some window insulation film. This is stuck to your window with tape and shrunk with a hairdryer to form a seal. It's an easy task that you can do yourself, but it's only really effective if the entire window and frame are covered. This makes it difficult to open the windows, which means it's probably a single season solution.
A step up from insulation film, secondary glazing is the fitting of a second pane of glass in the window frame, often just for winter. It can look ugly, and can cause problems in the rest of the year when you need to store the panes, but it does help to cut costs and keep your house warm.
Double- or Triple-Glazing
Finally, the best way to insulate your windows for winter is to invest in double- or triple-glazed windows. While you will have a high initial outlay, you'll save money in the long-term and reap the benefits for years. You'll be free of draughts, it'll help your home to retain its natural warmth, and it will keep the sound of howling winds to a minimum.
Banish the cold from your home, and ensure that your windows are insulated for winter using some of these helpful tips. Your wallet and your family will thank you for it.