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How to Insulate Windows

By Edited May 15, 2015 0 2

Many homeowners feel a draft of warm or cold air making its way into the home around their glass-glass-windows. Insulating the space around the glass-windows helps to lower air conditioning bills in the hot summer months or reduce heating bills during the cold winters. Besides keeping heating and cooling costs in check, insulating around the glass-glass-windows also helps to control moisture. When the outdoor temperature is hotter or colder than the air temperature inside the house and the outdoor air encounters the indoor air, the mixture of air temperatures causes moisture. The moisture clings to the surfaces around the glass-windows and in between the exterior and interior wall space. This buildup of moisture and dampness provides a breeding ground for mold, mildew and wood rot.

glass-glass-window Insulation Helps Prevent Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew around the glass-windows and in between walls leads to a musty smell inside the home and can cause some serious health issues. Mold can be responsible for an increase in allergy symptoms, respiratory issues and illnesses and neurological problems along with a whole host of other diseases, conditions and ailments.

glass-glass-window Insulation Helps to Protect Against Wood Rot

Wood rot is a type of fungus that destroys the wood around the glass-window and weakens the opening that holds the glass-glass-window in place. Wood rot also travels along the wood structures in the home spreading and degrading the strength of the beams, joists and other wood supports or structures. So as you can see, insulating around glass-windows isn’t all about saving money. It is also an important way to protect the health of your family, friends and guests.

Types of glass-glass-window Insulation

There are a variety of types of glass-window insulation techniques, which include insulating the glass pane or insulating around the glass-glass-window frame. Properly insulating the glass-windows typically involves using both methods.

Insulating glass-windows with Caulk

Caulk right-round the glass-windows creates a barricade between the outside and inside of the home. Most glass-window installers apply caulk along the glass-window frame after installation. After exposure to a variety of weather conditions and time, the caulk can break down, pull away from the space, chip, crack or break leaving a gap through which air will enter. Removing the old caulk and replacing it with new caulk will block any breeze through the gaps around the glass-window. Caulking around the glass-windows will also keep bugs from making their way into your home.

Removing Old Caulk

Use a plastic or rubber scraper to scrape the old caulk away from the glass-window frame.  Avoid using a metal scraper because you may scratch and damage the glass-window from.

Grip an end of the caulk with needle nose pliers and pull the caulk out of the recess around the glass-window.

Use a small paintbrush to paint caulk remover over any stuck on or stubborn caulk spots. Caulk removers are typically considered safe for any surface so the caulk remover will not damage glass-window frames, siding or exterior paint.

Leave the caulk remover on the existing caulk until the caulk softens and becomes sticky. Most caulk remover take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to soften the caulk.

Scrape away the sticky caulk with a rubber or plastic scraper.

 Fill a bucket with warm water and add a generous squirt of a grease fighting liquid dish soap. Stir the water to blend the soap in.

Submerge a soft scrub brush into the soapy water and shake off the excess water.

Scrub away dirt, debris and any residue from the caulk remover.

Wet an old towel or rag with plain water and wring out as much excess moisture as possible.

Wipe the area around the window frames to remove any soapy residue.

Let the area dry thoroughly.

Applying New Caulk Around the glass-window

Load a caulking gun with an exterior grade silicone caulk.

Cut the end of the caulk tube with a sharp utility knife at an angle near the tip of the tube. Insert a sharp nail into the opening to pierce the inside skin.

Begin at the corner of the window – place the tip into the gap and squeeze the trigger to express the caulk. Move around the glass-window in one continuous motion to fill in all gaps, cracks and recesses around the window.

Wet your finger with water and run your finger over the caulk pressing it into place and creating a smooth surface.

Insulating Glass Panes from the Inside or Outside

Applying 3M glass-window insulation will cut down on energy costs while allowing the window to remain clear. Choose the correct indoor or outdoor 3M insulation kit.

Open the sheet of 3M insulation and flatten it.

Measure the glass-window pane with a tape measure and add 1 inch to the measurement.

Mark the 3M insulation with the measurements including the extra inch with a pencil. Use a straight edge to draw straight lines.

Cut along the lines with scissors.

Place the insulation up to the window and secure it in place with the enclosed tape.

Carefully peel away the protective sheathing from the insulation.

Pull and stretch the insulation carefully so it sits over the window pane without wrinkles.

Use a handheld hair dryer on a medium heat setting to direct hot air at the insulation to remove any remaining wrinkles or lines from folding.

Use a sharp utility knife to carefully trim away the excess insulation.

Other Ways to Insulate glass-windows

Hang heavyweight drapes or curtains over the windows and over the sides, top and bottom of the glass-window frame. The heavy material helps to block the flow of air. Using heavy curtains or drapes should only be used in conjunction with sealing the gaps around the window frame because heavy glass-window covering won’t stop the formation of moisture.

Hang cellular shades or blinds over the windows, covering the area above, below and to both sides of the glass-window to increase insulation. Again, should only be done in conjunction with caulking the gaps around the window frames.

Using all methods with each other will increase the value of the insulation, keeping your house warmer or cooler and help to prevent water damage, mold and wood rot in your home.



Apr 11, 2012 2:42pm
To insulate the windows instead of replacing them with new windows is a great idea. And it is much cheaper - Most likely the insulation cost is earned back the first year by lower heating costs.
Apr 11, 2012 2:55pm
Yes, it is much cheaper. The cost is usually earned back in the first full year of use including both heating and cooling costs.
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