DIY: Weatherproof Windows

Windows contribute enormously to the beauty and personality of our homes.

Yet they can also be the single largest source of energy loss.

Today’s modern windows are extremely efficient when compared to those installed in homes just a decade or two ago, but even if you can’t afford to replace old windows, there are things you can do to help save money on your heating and cooling bill.

Follow the steps below to eliminate drafts from the most common areas of a typical single or doublehung window.

Skill Level: Medium

Time Required: Variable


  1. Tack hammer
  2. Caulk gun
  3. Stapler


  1. Adhesive-backed V-Channel
  2. High-quality neoprene strips
  3. Metal tension strips
  4. Reinforced felt
  5. Tubular gasket
  6. Clear silicone caulking
  7. Shrink-wrap product

Step One

Cut metal or vinyl v-strips to fit in the sash channels.

Cut them long enough to extend at least one inch beyond the sash ends when the window is closed.

Cut vinyl with scissors; cut metal with tin snips.

Step Two

Remove the adhesive backing and stick the vinyl in place.

Tack metal strips in place, driving the tacks flush so that the window sash will not snag on them.

Flare out the open ends of the metal V-channels with a putty knife to create a tight seal with the sash.

Step Three

Wipe down the underside of the bottom sash with a damp rag and wait for it to dry.

Attach self-adhesive closed-cell vinyl foam to the edges of the underside.

The surface must be at least 50 degrees for self-adhesive strips to stick.

Step Four

Seal the gap where the top sash meets the bottom sash.

For double-hung windows, raise the bottom sash completely to the top, and then lower the upper sash a couple of inches.

This reveals the lower rail, which is normally hidden. Seal with V-channel weather stripping.

If the top sash is stationary, tack tubular gasket to the outside of the lower sash so that it compresses slightly against the top sash when the window is locked shut.

Step Five

Apply paintable caulking around both the interior and exterior window trim.

 Smooth the caulking, a craft stick or even a spoon will get the job done!

Once the caulking has dried, paint over it to hide your job well done.

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