Easy Green: 9 Low-Cost Ways to Reduce Windows and Doors

While it’s true that dual-pane insulating windows help keep the heat in during winter, there are times when old windows simply can not be substituted — perhaps you’ve got a historic house with charming original features worth preserving, or you are working on a strict budget. But only because you can not bring in the latest and best new windows and doors does not mean that you need to go minus the electricity savings. From basic weatherstripping to lavish window treatments with hidden energy benefits, these nine easy-to-implement ideas can help block drafts and boost insulation of your windows and doors.


1. Weatherstripping and caulking. The very first step in getting the maximum from your current windows and doors would be to plug some air leaks. Caulk indoors and out your window casing and use weatherstripping from the sash.

Pottery Barn

Velvet Drape – $109

2. Heavier curtains. Like pulling on a nice, comfy sweater once you get cold, switching out lighter summer curtains for thicker drapes in winter is a smart idea. Decorating-wise, it looks more suitable during the cool months to possess something lush and rich, such as velvet or heavy linen, on the windows, as well as the fabric provides additional insulation and blocks.

Cornerstone Architects

3. Doorway curtains. In an entry with a glass door, consider hanging a floor-length velvet curtain directly behind the door — pulled to the side throughout the afternoon, it might be a stunning decorative accent, also at nighttime, when pulled shut, it might give an excess layer of warmth between the glass and the great outdoors.

Hunter Douglas

Duette Architella Honeycomb Shades

4. Cellular shades. Also known as honeycomb shades, this kind of window covering is made with folds of cloth that make numerous layers of air pockets to insulate windows such as a puffy down quilt.

Lauren Gries

5. Layered window treatments. To dress your windows really warmly, bundle them up in insulation colors (or cellular shades) with curtains hung in addition to This elegant look makes any room feel more completed and will continue to keep your house warmer.


Door Draft Stopper Snake, Slate Grey/Yellow/Floral by Ogsplosh – $20

6. Doorway snake. This may seem a little old timey, but there is nothing like a door snake to get fast and easily stopping a big draft from whooshing below your door. Thankfully there are many trendy door snakes being made now (such as the one displayed here); a quick search on Etsy is guaranteed to produce tons of cute options.

Lindsey M. Roberts

Energy Film

7. Insulating window film. This product sticks directly to a windows, giving an excess layer of protection from the elements. Be mindful that your windows will not be perfectly clear with window film applied — that is probably fine for windows in certain parts of the house, but you may not want to use it anywhere if the look bothers you.

Crisp Architects

8. Storm windows and doors. These are more expensive than a number of the other things on this list but may make the most difference. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, adding a storm window to an older window that’s been weatherstripped supplies the same or better energy savings as a new dual-pane window.

Archer & Buchanan Architecture, Ltd..

9. Exterior barn doors. Take the barn-door trend out with thick sliding doors to protect sliding glass doors underneath. They may not work on every house style, but if they do, they’re a showstopper!

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