How to insulate sliding windows?
According to different studies, inadequate window insulation translates into an energy loss of 15%. A loss whose economic cost can be considerable. Fortunately, sealing windows is not a complex task, the execution of which is worth it if we consider the savings it entails.
When it comes to reducing the energy consumption of our home, and with it the economic costs of heating or air conditioning, windows are one of the main objectives that we must take into account. Something that is even more necessary in the case of sliding windows since, unlike inward-opening windows, which do tend to have efficient insulation, these sliding ones lack such protections.
Fortunately, it is easy to find all kinds of products on the market with which to insulate windows efficiently and prevent the cold from sneaking in through the cracks left by the sliders. In addition, this window insulation is usually easy to install and relatively inexpensive. Therefore, you will not have to spend a lot of time or money to enjoy better sensations in your home.
The first thing we have to know is what we need to achieve thermal insulation (in this link you will find several products to choose from) of quality windows. In general, it will suffice to buy a window seal with the necessary measures and characteristics to achieve the hermetic closure of possible holes, in order to prevent these losses of cold or heat. As an alternative, you can also use the rubber gaskets for aluminum windows that are sold in some stores. These spare parts can be used to replace gaskets that are already deteriorated by time, simplifying the insulation process.
When choosing the size, it is convenient to assess the space between the window and the frame. Within the current offer of weatherstripping for sliding windows, there are products with different thicknesses. The optimal measure is one slightly less than the space between both elements, which allows efficient insulation but without the weather stripping preventing us from opening the window. The design of that weatherstrip is also important, although we will delve into it later.
We will use this same approach when insulating the sides of the sliding windows, in the area where they close and open. Before you start, it is essential that the windows close properly, so you must check that the window hooks fit correctly in place. Once this verification has been carried out, we will be able to insulate, using larger and thicker weather stripping. The idea is to place this weatherstrip closing the side right on the lateral edge of the slide, preventing the cold from sneaking in here.
type of weather stripping
When you go to buy weather stripping, you will surely see different products both for their profile or design and for their materials. Starting with these materials, we have foam, rubber or silicone products. The foam ones are the cheapest, but also the least durable, maintaining their characteristics for around five years.
That is why it is advisable to resort to at least weather stripping for aluminum windows made of rubber, whose useful life is about 8 years. As for the silicone ones, these would be the most efficient when it comes to insulating your windows, they last up to 10 years without deteriorating and are ideal for achieving extreme insulation against moisture.
As for its shape, we also have three different options. One of these is the P profiles, suitable for covering gaps of up to 5 millimeters and recommended for the sides of the sliders. For their part, the D-type profile products cover spaces of up to 7.5 millimeters, isolating even larger spaces with efficiency. Finally, type E profiles are the solution for gaps from 1 to 3.5 millimeters, being the most recommended for use as weatherstripping for aluminum windows, both for the sliding at the bottom and for the closure. It’s all a matter of choosing what your windows need.
Placement of weather stripping
If you have come this far, you still have the most physical part but also the easiest, especially if you have done your homework. And it is that the placement of the weather stripping for windows is very easy, thanks to the quality of the adhesives that they include. In addition, its presentation in roll allows them to be fixed little by little along the frame or the window, so that the weatherstrip is well mounted in its place.
However, it is recommended that before starting the assembly you carefully clean the areas where you are going to place the weather stripping. Do not hesitate to remove the windows from your rails if necessary, to make the task easier. Once the placement areas have been cleaned, it is key to dry them perfectly, for which you can use absorbent paper or even use an ionic hair dryer, with which to avoid leaving traces of water or moisture.
Once the surface is ready, all that remains is to separate the protector from the weather stripping adhesive a little and stick it straight in place. Next, we will separate more protector and strongly stick the weatherstrip, until the assembly is complete. It is important that the weather stripping is straight, so that it is useful. When you get to the end, cut off the excess with scissors and firmly pin the end. In case the strip is not enough to cover the entire distance, it is not a problem to place another strip of weatherstripping next to it and continue with the assembly.
Leaving aside the proposals that we have discussed, there are other solutions with which to reduce the thermal impact of windows in your home. Among them, are the cold-insulating curtains. Unlike conventional curtains, these are made with thicker and more efficient materials, so they are very useful when it comes to reducing the effect of cold, noise or light inside your home. And best of all, compared to what was happening a few years ago, today their prices are more than competitive.
Within our tricks to insulate windows, we have another very interesting, as well as simple. To insulate the glass of your windows at a low cost, you only need a spray of water and bubble wrap, the latter being a curious but efficient thermal insulator for windows. For its assembly, it is enough to wet the glass with the sprayer and carefully place the paper on top. It is important to do it correctly, ensuring that the paper is well glued. The result after mounting this homemade thermal insulation is not miraculous, but you will notice both a lower amount of cold in the glass and a certain reduction in the noise level in the room.