These photos of windows in the east wall of Whitten House were taken minutes apart and show how tight window save energy. The left one is covered with frost on the interior side of a storm window from warm moist air escaping around the primary window sash. The window on the right was tightened up and had off-the-shelf weather stripping installed – an hour’s effort and $5 in materials.
The frost on the left represents lost heat. In a house with many windows, it represents a LOT of heat that could be saved by tightening up the windows. It is a common misconception that historic houses are not energy efficient and are expensive to heat in a cold climate. A more accurate statement is that buildings that aren’t properly maintained and have outdated systems can be inefficient and expensive to heat.
With appropriate insulation, air sealing, and heat source system improvements, a historic house can be as efficient as a typical modern house. Tightening up loose windows is a great place to start.
“Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners” addresses issues of energy efficiency in-depth. It includes instructions to quickly and affordably tighten historic wood windows if you don’t have the time or budget for full window restoration.
Signed and personalized copies of the award-winning and bestselling 720-page hardcover book are available from the author in our shop, YourHistoricHouse.com/shop/.
Our shop also carries select preservation and restoration titles by other authors.
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