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How Can You Reduce Your Energy Costs By Draught Proofing Your Sash Windows?

By Wayne Dorest

You can reduce your energy costs by draught proofing your sash windows, and you will make your home more comfortable at the same time. If your windows are letting your heat out and cold air in, you need to decide which remedy will fix the problem in a manner suited to your home and your budget.

Sash windows are the kind with a frame, usually wood but maybe metal or plastic, and with a top and a bottom section, one or both of which moves up or down to open the house to the outside air. These windows have been used since the 17th century at least, and in America are found in historic homes from the Colonial and Victorian eras. Many newer homes have used this style as well, as it is attractive and traditional.

As the house ages, its windows may lose both their inner and outer seals, the panes may become loose, and the sashes rattle in their frames. They may become hard to raise and lower because of layers of old paint, and may have rotten cords and latches. As people struggle to make the windows work, the frames get looser, the panes lose their putty, and more air leaks in around the window than through it.

Replacing windows is an expensive and extreme reaction to this situation, which can be corrected by temporary weatherstripping or by long lasting structural repairs. Many homeowners would rather keep old windows for their historic value, their suitability to the character of the house, and as a less costly solution.

Temporary solutions may be simply blocking the air coming in from outside, or escaping from the warm interior to the outdoors, with weatherstripping. A common kind is felt strips with adhesive on one side. You simply press the strips in place, closing the gap between a window and its surrounding frame. This can reduce draughts and heat loss, though it may not be completely effective. Weatherstripping can also be made of foam or the plastic, pliable cord that comes in rolls and is pressed into place like clay.

Other quick fixes can include an insert, which is just a pane of glass or plastic that fits inside the entire window, creating one more layer of air for insulation, and blocking the movement of air through the loose panes of the outer window. There are plastic sheets, applied to the inside window frame with heat, that seal the window in the same way. Even heavy drapes can block cold air from entering a room through the window.

A better way is to take the time and trouble to dismantle the window, remove the outer trim and repair or replace the caulk that fills the gap between the frame and the wall. The inner trim can be removed as well, to weatherstrip around the frame on the inside without leaving the stripping material in plain sight. Old putty should be removed from each pane and new putty applied, and even the pulleys, sash cords, and beads can be replaced. A good thing to add in this complete renovation is hidden, stiff brush strips that allow the window to slide open and shut but make a tight seal against the weather.

Reduce your energy costs by draught proofing your sash windows, a common sense solution which can be done yourself or by a professional draught proofing specialist.

Get the ultimate inside scoop on how to reduce your energy costs by draught proofing your sash windows in our complete secondary glazing london and top sash window insulation company overview.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Dorest, Wayne "How Can You Reduce Your Energy Costs By Draught Proofing Your Sash Windows?." How Can You Reduce Your Energy Costs By Draught Proofing Your Sash Windows?. 22 Aug. 2010. 11 Jan 2015 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Dorest, W (2010, August 22). How Can You Reduce Your Energy Costs By Draught Proofing Your Sash Windows?. Retrieved January 11, 2015, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Dorest, Wayne "How Can You Reduce Your Energy Costs By Draught Proofing Your Sash Windows?"

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