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Quick ways to stop cold air drafts in old windows

Cold air drafts can raise heating expenses
Cold air drafts can raise heating expenses
Morguefile / melschmitz

Cold winter winds can sneak into your home around old windows, making your house feel chilly and drafty. If you have ever walked past a window and started to shiver, chances are your old windows are letting some of winter's icy chill in. If new windows aren't in your financial future, there are a few things you can do to warm the house up.

Check Window Tops

Those old fashioned window frames sometimes have a tendency to slide down. Check in the middle where the top and bottom meet. Has the top section slid down? If it has, you will have cold air pouring in the top. If pushing it back up into place doesn't work, you will need to block the opening.

This is where you can get creative. Cram an old towel or strips of an old blanket into the open area. Use a butter knife to push and poke it into place. It may not look fashionable, but it will keep you warm until you can fix it. Besides, once the curtains are hung back up you won't even notice it, and it is winter so chances are the outsides are frosted over so your neighbors won't see it either!

Check around the Casings

Run your hand all around the outer edges of the window sills and any trim or molding around it. Even the tiniest amount of air can cause the furnace to run more and leave a chill in your home. You can always run out and buy some of that plastic window covering stuff or you can fix it the creative way.

They say that duct tape fixes everything and it will sure work here too. You can run a strip of duct tape, or masking tape if you prefer, all around the window edges to block any cold air. If the gaps are big, stuff some paper towels into it and then tape over it.

Change to Heavier Curtains

Sure light and airy lace curtains are pretty and allow you to look out into the pretty winter wonderland. They also allow even the slightest bit of air to leak into your house so it becomes a winter wonderland inside too. Find some heavy insulated curtains that you can live with for a few months and hang them at the window instead.

New insulated curtains are expensive, so check around at thrift stores or see if a friend has some they aren't using. If you don't think the curtains are heavy enough, tack or tape a small fleece blanket across the top of the window and then hang the curtains up.

Just tacking the blanket across the top will allow you to pull it back to see out if necessary, yet it will lie down against the window and block some of the chill. Again, you won't see it behind the curtains. You can also use a clear shower curtain hung behind your curtains to ward off the chill.

These may not be the fanciest fixes for a drafty window, but they are quick and inexpensive. If you are sitting in a draft and need to do something fast, these tricks will help to keep you and your family warm and it may save a bit on the heating bill.