Outdoor raised panel black shutters installed on a brick house.

Insulate Windows for Winter

It has been reported that the coming winter will be colder than those in the recent past. True or not, we do know that temperatures drop in winter months and homeowners need to be prepared.

Take an initial stroll around the outside of the property. Inspect the foundation for cracks and soil for erosion and take appropriate corrective action. Remove any dead trees or shrubbery. Survey outdoor shutters and siding for chipped, thin, or loose paint and repair. The observations and improvements made this Fall will save time, energy, headaches, and money come Spring.

Raised panel black shutters installed on a brick house.

Additional outdoor tasks that may need to be accomplished include:

  • Detach, drain, and store garden hoses
  • Cover or store patio furniture
  • Move potted plants inside
  • Blow out water from in-ground sprinklers
  • Disconnect and store outdoor speakers
  • Clear gutters of leaves and other debris
  • Clean and inspect the chimney

An indoor audit should also be conducted before frigid weather arrives. Consider repairing or even replacing old drafty windows, the most prominent areas for heat loss during the winter. In fact, windows and doors can be responsible for up to one-third of the home’s total heat loss. Indoor wood shutters can serve as an additional insulating barrier between the window and heated room.

According to SmartEnergy Living, “Hardwood shutters and wood blinds offer R-values between 2.77 and 3.17 and a shading co-efficient between 0.35 and 0.21.” Hardwood shutters figure to be on the higher end and blinds on the lower end. R-value is a measure of the resistance of an insulating or building material to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulation and resistance to heat flow.

Wood exterior shutters or composite exterior shutters can serve as an initial insulating barrier. Solid panel styles significantly reduce the passage of air through the opening.

An independent study concluded full height interior plantation shutters with closed louvers result in a 31% heat transfer reduction.

Additional indoor Fall tasks include:

  • Schedule a furnace inspection
  • Change HVAC filters
  • Reverse ceiling fans
  • Install storm doors
  • Check thermostat for proper setting
  • Check smoke alarms
  • Activate humidifiers