Increase the Efficiency of Your Old Windows | Central Glass Company

Proudly Serving Greater Salt Lake City Area Since 1957

Midvale/Sandy: 801-561-2213
Downtown SLC: 801-355-7577
Bountiful: 801-295-3449
West Valley: 801-969-1491
Midvale/Sandy: 801-561-2213
Downtown SLC: 801-355-7577
Bountiful: 801-295-3449
West Valley: 801-969-1491

5 Ways to Help Increase the Efficiency of Your Old Windows

While you might appreciate the beauty and unique character of your old home, you might not appreciate the windows. Older windows can sometimes rattle in the panes, feel drafty, become frosty or foggy on the inside, look warped, or have trouble opening and closing. During the winter, you might especially wish for more energy-efficient windows. Sometimes, replacing each window in an older house is not an option, especially if you are on a tight budget. Fortunately, you can improve your windows so they are more energy efficient.
  1. Replace Old or Damaged Glass
First, recognize that old glass can become quite brittle as it ages. If your glass is original to your home, you can benefit from replacing it with new panes. These new panes will be tempered glass, which makes them less likely to break. Newer glass panels can also be thicker, resulting in better heat insulation. The design of old or antique windows makes replacing individual panes of glass simpler. You can remove glazing and the small metal clips that hold the old glass in place. You can then order new glass to fit the size of the window sash. Newer glass can also have applied films that reduce the glare and UV light through the windowpane, which helps the window to be more energy efficient in the summertime. Heat transfer from sunlight through the windowpane can make a room feel warm and make your air conditioner work harder. Thus, new glass will help both your comfort and your budget.
  1. Put New Glazing on Old Windows
Windows that rattle or crack easily in the frames need new glazing. Glazing is the substance that seals the pane of glass in the wooden frame of the window sash. In old windows, this substance is almost clay-like and very hard. You should get new glazing if the old glazing has started to crumble or flake away. Glazing windows can be daunting for some homeowners as a DIY task because managing the putty and letting the glazing cure can take a practiced hand. Hire a glass or window company to replace glass and redo the glazing. The other option is to use window and door sealing caulk in the place of glazing. However, while glazing is paintable and sandable, caulk is not. Glazing is the most authentic and traditional way of restoring the effectiveness of an old, drafty window.
  1. Add Storm Windows
Another simple way to help improve the efficiency of single-pane windows in an old home is to add storm windows. Storm windows have many benefits, and storm windows are good for old and new homes. They specifically offer the following two advantages for older windows:
  • They provide another barrier against heat and cold. Old windows do not have the double or triple pane designs of modern windows. The glass can feel cold and be a source of constant heat loss in winter. A tight storm window adds another pane of glass, which helps to simulate the effect of a modern double-paned glass window.
  • They provide protection to window components. Older windows are usually artfully crafted from old-growth wood. This wood is hardwearing, but it can have damage from mold, moisture, and insects. Your old window will perform better if both the glass and the wooden components are in good shape.
Storm windows can match the architecture of your house, and they are less expensive than all new windows. You might decide to add storm windows room by room as your budget allows.
  1. Replace Missing or Broken Weather Stripping
Old windows still have weather stripping to help provide a good seal. In old windows, however, weather stripping might look different from the vinyl or foam you might be used to seeing on new windows and doors. Wooden windows should be weather stripped with spring bronze. This metal material goes on the jams of the frame, instead of on the movable window sash. Once installed, your window has a tighter seal.
  1. Use Removable Seals
If you still have trouble with drafts after you update, clean, re-glaze, and weather strip your windows, add temporary seals to help reduce airflow through the window. Do not be tempted to use silicone or dap to seal a window shut. Sealed windows cannot open, which makes them a safety hazard, and sealing them shut actually hastens their decline in quality. Instead, use rope caulk or moldable putty to seal around the gaps of your windows. If you need to open the window, the putty will not stop you. Think of this putty as similar to the blanket that you put at the base of your door to keep the cold air from creeping under the gap. For more information about making your window more weather resistant, contact us today at Central Glass Company.

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Downtown SLC

  • 780 South 400 West
  • 801-355-7577


  • 7985 S State Street
  • 801-561-2213

West Valley City

  • 4785 West 3500 South
  • 801-969-1491


  • 416 West 500 South
  • 801-295-3449

What Our Clients Say

Hidden Gem

I had 2 windshields replaced on my previous car at a different glass company. I went back there and got an estimate for this windshield but thought I would get a second estimate from Central Glass. I am sure glad as it saved me over $140. This is now my glass company of choice.

- Steve

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