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Old 10-11-2008, 10:06 AM   #1
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Winterize Windows


We have a fairly leaky house and are hoping to make some fixes that will keep our gas bills below $400/month this winter. We moved into this place last winter and didn't have time to make the fixes then, but now we're ready to do the work.

I plan to use caulk or silicone to seal up small cracks and leaks. However, a couple of the windows have huge gaps where the windows installed do not fit the hole in the house. Check out the picture below for an example. What suggestions do you all have for fixing this problem?

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Old 10-11-2008, 07:12 PM   #2
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Winterize Windows


Do it right. Rip it out and get the right sized retro window so that you aren't just filling holes with caulk.

This was a Micky Mouse Special when they were put in.

Depending where you are there are rebates and tax credits for windows with a U-factor of .30 or less. This will help offset the costs. The other advantage is the decreased energy bill.

Plus this look like aluminum. Nice was to transmit the cold into the house and the heat outside.

I did a total rehab of a house 2 years ago by replacing all the leaky and single pain windows and the lady told me the other day that her heating bills are 50% of what they were.
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Old 10-23-2008, 03:23 PM   #3
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Winterize Windows


Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but ok. I guess I'll put minimal effort into it for now and save up to replace the windows completely.

Are aluminum windows really that bad? The only aluminum part is actually the storm window; the interior window is wood. I wouldn't think there would be much transfer of heat with that setup, since the air space in between should still be accomplishing its insulating purpose.
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Old 10-23-2008, 07:45 PM   #4
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Winterize Windows


Well if they are aluminum storm windows over wood this isn't as bad as all aluminum windows.

They still look like there is a large gap in the bottom of the window in your picture. That probably needs some sort of sealing to keep the cold air out and the warm air in.

Next windy day leave a window open on one side of the house and walk to the other side and see where it is leaking. I have use a punk (for lighting fire works) to see where the wind is coming in/out. It works well.
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Old 10-25-2008, 10:20 AM   #5
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Winterize Windows


Until you can completely replace the windows, you could caulk all around the perimeter. Use that expanding foam sealant for the large space at the bottom - get the kind that is made for extra wide gaps. See if you can open the storm window so that you can caulk both sides of the wood window, then close the storm and just caulk the outside of that one.

You could also apply some of those plastic wrap seals that they sell at HD for like 3 bucks a window.
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Old 10-25-2008, 10:33 AM   #6
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Winterize Windows


Looks like the outside storm window...

I would add in a wood filler at the bottom where the gap was left by the installers.. Then run a bead of caulk around the storm.

The plastic shrink window kits on the inside will help seal things up til ya get something permanent.
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Old 10-25-2008, 01:49 PM   #7
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Winterize Windows


I feel your pain, as we doing the same thing. Just go around, make a list and fill each crack as you can. We're using a combination of wood shims to keep a few double hungs from moving back and forth to heavy plastic for windows that are just too far gone. Can't replace them this year, so it's quick fix time. We just added the floor sweep piece on our front door and the difference is HUGE! Heavier curtain also work. Every little bit helps.
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