Welcome to the final installment on all things to consider before you replace your windows. We’ve talked about three important questions to ask yourself; proper installation and financing; and even what to do to properly prepare yourselves for this type of project. But what if you don’t have or want to spend the money for new windows? Are there other options?
Of course there are! As I mentioned before, often the problem with windows is the gap between the window frame and rough opening. Removing the interior trim will give you access to this gap so you can remove the old fiberglass batts jammed in there and then properly fill the gap with low expansion window and door spray foam. This can be a DIY project (for the experienced DIYer only) or you can hire a pro.
Another common issue is that after several years, the existing weather stripping wears out. Even higher end windows used lower quality weather stripping. There have been great improvements in weather stripping and you can order replacements and install them in your own windows (see photos for best type). If your windows are really old and have the old copper or plastic spring type weather stripping there are plenty options for you as well (see the photos).
Finally, ever notice how the fabric on Grandma’s couch by the window always seemed faded by the sun? That’s because of solar heat gain and radiation. New energy efficient windows are coated with a Low-e (low emissivity) film. It reflects solar heat and radiation while allowing light to pass through. This helps to make your home more comfortable and reduce utility costs. These films are now available for existing windows and can be installed at a fraction of the cost of a new window. They come in various tints or even clear so you can customize the film to the situation.