Letting The Right Stuff Through Your Windows
Windows are a connection to the outside world. But they can also serve as an important barrier. While it could be important to let sunlight in and allow cold breezes in on a hot day, you may not want this to be accompanied by moisture or pests.
Letting the right stuff through your windows (while keeping out the wrong stuff) involves making sure that you’ve a) got the right type of windows, and b) that you’re using the right type of window treatment. The following post delves more into how to control exactly what comes through your window.
Aside from being able to look outside, the biggest purpose of a window is to let in natural light. This natural light is important for our health and also allows us to grow houseplants and cut down on energy spent on artificial lighting.
In order to maximise the amount of light coming through your windows, you should make sure that they are kept clean and not obstructed in any way. Avoiding placing bulky furniture in front of windows. Similarly consider cutting back any unruly plants outside that could be casting a shadow or blocking your window.
There are times when you may not want light coming through your windows such as when trying to sleep at night or when taking a nap during the day. Hanging up some curtains, blinds or shutters will help to block out light in these situations while also providing privacy. Blackout curtains and blackout blinds are designed to block out all light and can be ideal for bedrooms - especially if you like to sleep in them during the day. Voile curtains and net curtains are meanwhile designed to continue letting in light while maintaining a level of privacy - ideal for windows facing busy streets.
Heat can enter and escape your home through windows. To maintain the right temperature in your home, it is therefore important to consider your windows and how they are designed/treated.
When it comes to stopping heat getting in, shutting windows and drawing the curtains is typically a simple solution. If you want to continue letting light in, another option is to place portable fans facing windows to repel hot air.
As for preventing heat loss through windows, there are a few different methods. Double or triple glazed windows are the most effective option - these are windows with an added pane to trap heat in. You could also consider upgrading your window frames. If you don’t want to invest in new windows or frames, a cheaper option could be to hang up thick winter curtains or use insulating stick-on window film.
There are times when you may want to let in a cold breeze, and other times when you may want to keep cold air out. Opening or shutting the window is the most basic way to control this.
As with heat, insulating your windows can reduce further cold air entering your windows. You should also check that there is no window damage that could enable drafts in.
Homes need to be well ventilated to prevent indoor air pollution. HVAC systems can help filter and purify the air, but windows can help too.
Aside from opening windows, it can be worth installing trickle vents in order to allow air to escape. This can stop gases like radon from building up in your home. Extractor fans can also help to expel pollutants.
Ideally, there shouldn’t be too much moisture coming in through your windows. If you’ve noticed water leaking in through your panes or around cracks in frames, it could be worth looking into home window replacement.
Opening windows and installing trickle vents can meanwhile allow moisture created indoors to escape. This can prevent damp and mould from setting in. Extractor fans are still the best way to get rid of steam from kitchens and bathrooms though.
Many pests enter through windows including ants, mosquitoes, wasps, moths and spiders. Closing windows can keep these pests out, but what if you want to let in a cold breeze on a hot summer’s night?
Insect screens are the best way to keep out pests while still allowing air to pass through. These can be fitted to the frame and rolled down like blinds. Placing certain scent-producing candles on windowsills could be another way to repel pests.
Make sure that there are no cracks around window frames that could also be letting in pests. Movement of walls over time can commonly cause cracks around window frames that are a common entry point for insects like ants. These cracks may be able to be simply blocked up with caulk to stop pests getting in.
On top of critters, it’s important to stop burglars getting into your home through your windows. This involves making sure that your windows are secure.
There are many ways to protect windows against burglars. Firstly, consider upgrading any old or damaged windows that are easy to prise open. Modern windows are typically fitted with interior locks and have impact resistant frames to make a break-in more difficult. You can also add reinforced glass to stop panes being shattered. If you don’t want to replace your windows, there are other options such as security shutters or security grills. Window alarms can also be installed to alert you if someone tries to access them without permission.
An overlooked factor is noise. If you live in a noisy neighbourhood, windows could let in a lot of outside noise that could keep you up at night or simply cause a headache during the day.
Fortunately, there are a few different methods of soundproofing windows that you can try out to stop noise getting in. Features like acoustic glazing and acoustic window inserts can help to block out sound. There are also noise reduction curtains and shutters that you can buy to reduce noise. Consider exploring these options around your home.