The arrival of winter brings with it a chill that calls for hunkering down in the warmth and comfort of your home. But when your house has not been properly prepped for cold weather, an outdoor winter wonderland can very easily lead to indoor winter woes. The key to beating back the chill? Winterising your home before the worst arrives. With the help of waterproofing materials and a durable tarpaulin, your home will be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws it is away.
The average home uses around 38% of energy consumption for heating and cooling. So, starting with your front door, we'll show you some simple ways to winterproof your home by keeping the cold out and sealing in the warmth.
Ways To Winterise Your Home
After months of hibernation, your interior fireplace will need a thorough refreshing before it can start keeping your home nice and toasty. Start by phoning a local chimney sweep for a professional inspection. Once they've checked for any issues, have them give your flue a thorough cleaning. Soot buildup and animal nests are common culprits of flue blockage that any professional can easily take care of.
Outdoor fireplaces will also require your attention if you plan on spending any winter evenings warming up by the fire. Like before, have the flue tested for efficiency and the fireplace cleaned of any soot or debris. And make sure to use aesthetically pleasing outdoor protection such as sectional covers or grill covers to keep fireside furniture safe from the mess that might arise.
Wind In The Windows
When it comes to heat escaping in the winter, your home's windows are culprit number one. Prevent cold winds from getting in by inspecting window frames for gaps, cracks, and any other opportunities for a chill to enter your home. Weatherstripping can be added to the base and edges of your windows to keep drafts out when winter winds come to town. Hanging heavy curtains and drapes throughout your home is another simple way to keep things well insulated. Seek out insulating curtains that allow natural light to filter through to take advantage of nature's heater.
All Systems Operational
There's no denying that your home's heating system will be working hard all winter. But before you start cranking up the thermostat, you must get it prepped and ready for the season ahead. Start by giving the system a test run to ensure that everything is in working order before cold temperatures arrive. The last thing you want is to fix a faulty heater in the dead of winter.
Having your furnace filters replaced is another step towards getting your system in shape. A fresh filter will keep your heat running smoothly and save you from costly repairs: a furnace repair can run you up to $477. Last but certainly not least, perform a thorough maintenance check on all of the alarm systems in your home, from the fire and carbon monoxide alarms to any security systems. Having the peace of mind that your home is safe and sound will help you relax and enjoy the cozy days indoors that much more.
Your home's gutters can easily be overlooked when prepping for winter. However, they'll be hard to ignore if they ice over when temperatures get below freezing. Cleaning the leaves and debris that accumulate in your gutters allows precipitation to flow without obstruction, which in turn prevents the formation of icicles and ice dams as well as the resulting floods that can damage walls and foundations.
Frozen pipes are an inconvenience countless homeowners are forced to deal with every winter. When this all-too-common hassle occurs, water will be unable to enter your home, and in the worst-case scenario, the frozen pipes will burst and flood your home. The most crucial step in prepping your pipes for winter is to insulate them properly. Exterior pipes that are exposed to the elements should take priority. Place wrap strips or foam sleeves on the pipes to help prevent freezing or bursting. You can also leave a faucet or two slowly dripping during the sub-freezing temperatures. Running water helps keep your pipes from freezing.
If you're still concerned about the possibility of a pipe burst damaging your outdoor accessories, consider utilising protective measures such as table covers, sectional covers, or a waterproof tarp on your patio.
Grill And Chill
In the endeavours to winterise your home, don't neglect your outdoor lifestyle areas. Backyard appliances such as grills require extra protection in winter as heavy snowfall, and below-freezing temperatures can damage them in both appearance and function. Customisable grill covers made from durable, waterproof materials are ideal for protecting all winter long shapes and sizes. Ensure that the cover is properly fitted so that no snow can seep through and no hail can scratch the surface. These measures will ensure that your grill is in tip-top shape come spring.
Seal The Deal
If you're the proud owner of a wooden deck or patio furniture, winter snows should cause you some concern. Exposure to moisture can cause significant damage to wooden accessories or flooring, including warping, cracking, and paint deterioration that cannot be repaired.
Thankfully, reliable protection for your deck can be found in wood sealants. Applying sealant to your wooden deck and furniture allows it to repel water, resist UV rays, and prevent any potential warping. Before sealing, ensure that the wood has been cleaned and sanded for the chemical solution to properly bond. Then, add the protection provided by table covers, and you've got a fully winterproofed deck.
Seal Around Your Front Door
Drafts from your windows and doors can account for 25% of the heat loss in your home. You can use a rubber seal on your windows or doors to fill 3-5mm gaps. Tear the rubber seal in half and remove the adhesive strip. Stick it onto the inside edge of the doorstop, starting at the very bottom, and then work your way up to the top and straight across.
Install A Stormproof Seal On The Bottom Of The Front Door
Door seals work by pushing the flap down when the door shuts, keeping the wind and the rain out. There are many different sorts of storm seals and adhesives. Make sure you choose the right one for your type of door.
Use Door Snakes On Hardwood And Tiled Floors.
Door snakes come in all shapes and sizes. Pick one that is the right width for the door. For example, a double snake goes one inside and one outside. Slide the flat centrepiece under the door, stopping drafts on both sides.
Put Ceiling Fans In Reverse.
There's usually a reverse mode for winter if you have a ceiling fan. This will push the warmer air down, making the room temperature more comfortable.
- Keep Cold Air from Coming Through Windows
- Secondary Glazing
- Insulating Curtains
- Draught Snakes
- Weather Strips
- Strategic Caulking
- Window Insulation Film
- Window Insulation Tape
- Get a Secondary Glazing Quote and Keep Draughts Out of Your Home.
The best way to winterise your windows is to add a sealed layer of plastic or glass over the window. And the cheapest, easiest way to do this is by installing an interior window insulation kit. Then, keep out those winter winds by sealing up your drafty windows.
Leaks around windows can lead to uncomfortable drafts and energy losses. They can also eliminate air leaks around the window if they extend over the woodwork, and this extra layer of plastic adds another layer of insulating air to reduce heat loss through the window.
- Install Low-E Storm Windows Over the Existing Frames.
- Recaulk Your Windows.
- Air Sealing with Foam Tape.
- Install Plastic Film Around the Glass.
- Insulate with Bubble Wrap.
- Invest in Some Thermal Curtains.
- Acrylic Plastic Sheet.
- Acrylic is a popular choice for windshields, drive-up windows and similar applications.
- Polycarbonate Sheet.
- Polycarbonate is another popular material for windows.
- Specialty Acrylic and Polycarbonate Sheet for Specialty Windows.
Condensation On Windows
Australia has usually been portrayed as a warm sunny corner of the world in media, but we get our fair share of cold. And condensation is the bane that comes with the colder months of the year. You wake up every morning, and you dread to lift the curtains. You know you will see a million droplets that unite forces to form small rivers that have the power to destroy walls and develop biohazards in your own home.
What Is Causing Condensation On Your Windows?
What causes condensation on windows can be boiled down to temperature differences. Consider the following. The air in, say, your bedroom contains water molecules. Inside, it's all warm and cosy. But it's cold outside. So the glass of your windows becomes cold as well. Now the water molecules of the warm air come in contact with a smooth cold surface. So the water in gas form (vapour) is brought back to a liquid state. The molecules accumulate on the cold surface until they form visible droplets. The result is condensation on the inside of windows.
Essentially, condensation is the opposite process of evaporation. But the real question is exactly what causes condensation at your place! So let's take a look at the underlying conditions that might be present in your home.
- Partial indoor heating
- Essentially, if you keep only certain rooms/areas of your home warm during the cold months, you create an ever-present temperature imbalance that can increase condensation.
- High levels of indoor humidity
- The indoor air itself is heavy with water molecules. The source of this could be a bathroom that is constantly wet or laundered clothes left to air dry indoors.
- Warm air being blasted onto a cold surface
- Consider your indoor heating. Maybe your heater is situated unfavourably close to your windows.
- Window frame specifics
- The material your window frames are made out of is affected by the cold.
- Double glazed windows defect/damage
- Such windows are great against condensation. If you have such and they get foggy, this might be a sign that there is a defect.
- Old window panes
- Perhaps your window panes have been put to the test of time, and they are finally giving out.
- Sleeping in a room
- People also contribute to condensation on windows in the morning by the mere act of breathing. We tend to keep bedrooms warm, so no surprise there.
How To Stop Window Condensation?
Now let's take a look at some of the main measures you can take to stop condensation on windows in winter. Australia has cool winters, so a temperature imbalance is already at play. And keep in mind that indoor condensation on glass is a complex problem caused by various factors and underlying conditions specific to the property, so you need to employ various window condensation solutions and improvements. So it has to be tackled from all sides.
Get Rid Of Condensation On The Inside Of The Windows.
On the subject of how to stop condensation on the inside of windows, let's consider the measures you can take to stop or at least minimise the accumulation of droplets. As the days get colder, change the setting of your humidifiers or completely shut them off if necessary to reduce the condensation on the inside of windows.
Have double glazed windows installed as they don't fog up as easily as single-pane windows?
- Ventilate the rooms where appliances are at work, especially when the oven and the laundry dryer are on.
- An exhaust fan in the bathroom and kitchen can also help as they move the air.
- Do a little experiment by lowering or raising the average indoor temperature. See if that helps.
- Ceiling fans are oldies but goodies. If you have one, turn it on from time to time to move the air around, especially in the rooms where your heaters are.
- Have your vent ducts cleaned? Dust and lint obstruct the flow of air.
- To stop the condensation on the inside of house windows, make sure to open up those blinds to let your windows "breathe" (closed blinds trap the air next to the glass).
- Keep the doors of unoccupied rooms open to ensure good airflow.
- Position heat vents strategically. Place them beneath the most problematic windows. Make sure any furniture or other bulky items do not block them. This will improve your indoor air circulation.
Stop Condensation On The Outside Of The Windows.
Usually, condensation on the inside is such a problem that we rarely consider what is going on on the other side. But condensation on the outside of the window also occurs. This usually happens when chilly nights are followed by warmer sunny days. But, again, high humidity and little wind can be contributing factors.
However, don't be alarmed as this is related to your local weather and climate. It's not a sign that there is something wrong with your windows. In case it bothers you, you can take the time to wipe your windows from the outside with a dry cloth. You can also resort to applying some water repellent. It works the same way as when used on cars when it rains.
Double Glazed Windows Condensation Fix
It's a bit ironic that we have to delve into stopping condensation on double glazed windows. Because double glazed windows are supposed to be great against condensation due to their construction. The frame holds two separate glass panes. The tight space between the panes is insulated so no air (and moisture) can get inside. This simple yet brilliant construction acts as insulation, which is why double glazed windows don't get as much condensation as single panes.
If you notice that condensation is forming in the space between the glass panes, then the integrity of your double glazed windows has been compromised. Maybe something went wrong during manufacturing. If they were recently installed, you should contact your contractor immediately to see what can be done. If you are on your own, here are some ideas on stopping condensation on double glazed windows in winter. In addition, there are some things that you can try to solve the problem temporarily.
- Reach for the hairdryer
- Plug your hairdryer in, turn it on the highest setting and point it at those annoying droplets. Hopefully, the heat will be enough to evaporate the moisture. Be careful, though. Don't point the nozzle towards the insulation on the edges, and don't leave your hairdryer on for too long.
- Bring in a dehumidifier
- If you have such a unit at hand, please bring it to the problematic room and turn it on.
- Improve ventilation
- And of course, do your best to ventilate the room properly. Let's hope that the condensation in your double glazed windows is a temporary thing and it will go away after you make all the necessary adjustments.
How You Can Prevent Condensation On Windows?
Here are some more ideas and strategies for preventing condensation on windows. Regardless of the severity of your condensation problem and what exactly is causing it, there are some general good practices that you should always follow during the colder Australian months to ensure window condensation prevention.
- The most important measure on how to prevent condensation on windows. This is your number one priority. Make sure the public living spaces are well ventilated. Open a window from time to time. Let some fresh air in.
- Even heating
- Make sure your home is evenly heated throughout the day and night. Find a comfortable temperature and stick to it.
- Mindful cooking
- When cooking, always turn the range hood on. If possible, open a window as well. Let the warm steamy air go outside.
- Take the laundry outside
- Don't leave your laundry to air-dry indoors. The moisture will surely find its way to your windows. If possible, take the clothes to air dry outside.
- Keep bathroom and kitchen doors closed when in use
- The idea so traps all the vapour and contain it in certain areas. Then combat it locally. For example, you can turn on the exhaust van or open a window.
- Turn down your humidifier
- It seems that you have enough indoor humidity already, so turn the device off to prevent condensation on windows.
- Keep the drapes and blinds open
- The idea is to let your windows breathe. The drapes and blinds inhibit their proper ventilation.
- Consider reducing the number of houseplants you have indoors to prevent condensation. If one room contains all of them, redistribute them throughout your home.
Stopping condensation on windows, if left unchecked, can lead to dreadful mould growth, unsightly discolouration and property damage. Not to mention the health risks.