The importance of good insulation for your windows in winter
Insulating your home is essential in winter in order to maintain a certain level of comfort in each room. Often neglected, window insulation plays an essential role in limiting heat loss. Discover its importance and everything you need to know to insulate your windows and face the winter at its best.
Why is it necessary to insulate windows?
Insulating your windows is as important as insulating your doors, walls and roof. The objective is to conserve as much heat as possible in each room. In fact, the slightest problem with the sealing of these openings can cause heat to escape to the outside, allowing the cold to enter the house.
As a result, the room will never be heated properly and your heating equipment will have to run longer to make up for this permanent heat loss. In the end, your electricity bill will be higher than it would have been with good insulation and your heating appliances will last less time, since they will be used more.
Criteria and standards for window insulation
Insulating your windows is not something that can be done just any old way. As in other European countries, you must respect norms and standards in order to qualify your windows as “insulated”. To do so, they will have to comply with the NAFS standard in order to be in compliance with the National Building Code. Air and water tightness as well as wind resistance are the main criteria that define whether a window is perfectly insulated or not.
That’s why it’s essential to call in the professionals if you’re planning to optimize your window insulation. Only they have the know-how to install windows according to the standards and to set up the insulation system perfectly adapted to your region and to the climatic conditions where you live.
How to insulate windows?
There are different ways to insulate your windows. The first is to install the insulation without replacing the insulation, and the second is to replace the insulation completely to bring it into compliance.
Insulate the window without replacing it
This first option avoids the need to completely replace your windows and will therefore cost you less. It can be considered if the openings are relatively recent. All you have to do is install different insulating materials. Here are some of them:
If you have a window with single pane glass and its joinery is still in excellent condition, you can simply replace the glass with a double pane. The difference between the two is that the single pane is composed of a single pane of glass. Being thinner, it is more sensitive to temperature variations and noise. Double glazing is more efficient because of its double layer of glass with an air or gas zone in the middle. This reduces both noise pollution and heat loss.
You may also decide to replace the insulating seals on your windows if they are starting to age. A seal that loses its effectiveness will allow air and eventually moisture to pass through, which will allow mold to grow on your windows. Whether silicone, rubber, metal or foam, caulking gaskets are easily replaceable. They are also inexpensive.
Another option that is inexpensive and quick to set up. The insulating film is glued directly to the glass inside the room and provides additional insulation, but is not a complete solution. This material is recommended if your home has single-pane windows. This film is transparent and offers good protection against cold, heat and UV rays. However, it is not very resistant and you will have to change it often.
Insulating curtains are also another option that is easy to install and saves you from doing expensive work on your windows. These devices serve as a barrier against cold and draughts. Nevertheless, thermal curtains are only a complementary solution to other methods already proposed.
Replace the existing window
However, if your windows are relatively old and the installation of the above-mentioned insulation devices may be difficult, then you will need to replace your windows. This solution is more expensive, but you ensure that you eliminate all heat loss.
If you choose this solution, you have two options. The first is to replace the entire window, including the frame. This is the fixed part that supports the moving part of the window. The second option is to keep the frame, but replace only the moving part. Be sure, however, to check the condition of your frame’s woodwork.
In any case, call a professional to replace your windows. This will prevent you from inadvertently creating thermal bridges. He will also help you choose the best materials to use, which will allow you to save money without compromising the quality of insulation.
The different insulation materials for your windows
Since we’re talking about the types of insulation materials for your windows, let’s take a closer look at the different types. There are generally 3 types of materials dedicated to the framing of your windows, namely:
- PVC: this material is made of plastic. It offers excellent thermal and sound insulation and requires no maintenance. Moreover, it is the cheapest on the market. On the other hand, it is not recyclable, which gives it a bad mark in terms of ecology;
- Wood: wood is widely used to manufacture doors and windows and offers excellent sound and heat insulation. However, solid wood is expensive and requires regular maintenance and a specific treatment to resist to bad weather;
- Aluminum: its thermal performance is not as good as that of PVC and wood. However, it requires no maintenance and can be recycled.