Are you dreading the cold weather because your sash windows are draughty? It doesn’t need to be that way. We all know that sash windows are beautiful and add a particular feel and look to a period home that is unrivalled by any modern building. But at the same time they can be draughty, particularly if they are older or have not been looked after as well as they could have in the past often leading to higher than necessary energy bills as you struggle to keep the heat in and the cold out.
There are a few things you can do to reduce draughts and keep your home energy bills down. Here is our quick guide to checking your sash windows and what you can do to plug some of those gaps.
Check for gaps, cracks, and warping
Check along the window box and frame for cracks in the timber or gaps between the box and wall. If you find any you should get them properly dealt with by a professional. In the meantime, however, draught strips, foam insulation, and window insulation film are available from any good DIY shop which can provide a good temporary option. Another option is to seal those window sliders for the windows you know you are not going to be using, as that is one of the parts of a sash window that can let in the greatest draughts, particularly where the box may be slightly warped or has settled, not allowing as good a connection between the two window panes.
One thing you must be mindful of when sealing gaps, particularly if you are opting for a more radical approach of permanent sealing, is allowing for adequate ventilation. This is especially important for those rooms that have high humidity levels, such as kitchens and bathrooms.
Textiles are an excellent way of stopping the cold at the window and not letting it pervade a room. The use of textiles also allows you to tackle the problem without affecting the window box itself and are a great temporary solution until you can get the professionals in for an expert fix. Textiles can involve shutters, heavy curtains, or a curtain layering; the latter is particularly useful when you don’t want to shut out the daylight. Other options are fabric tubes that sit at the bottom of your window box stopping the draught from coming in. An added bonus of using textiles? They let you add a bit of flair and style to your room and if you are in a listed building or conservation area and your options are limited when it comes to changes to your windows without planning permission, they may be your best option.
Upgrade your windows
Replacing your old timber frame sash windows for uPVC ones is not as complex as it used to be. Yes, you may still need planning permission if your property is listed or you live in a conservation area (you can check on the Government’s Planning Portal to find out if you do), but designs and styles have come a long way and they can look as good as the original timber frame ones, making it easier to change without any problems. Another option is to change your glazing from single to double (or even triple) or to install secondary glazing where limited changes are allowed so that it is not visible from the outside. While replacing your windows may be a more expensive option the money you will save on your heating bills will give you a very quick return on that investment.
Talk to us for help and advice
For advice on how to protect and look after your sash windows, or to discuss replacement, our team at Wandsworth Sash Windows is here for you. Call us on 020 7924 7303 for an initial chat or to make an appointment.