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SirWinston
LSU Fan
PDX
Member since Jul 2014
48527 posts

Any way to reduce draft from old / large single pane windows?
Hi all - is there anything that I can do (caulking all around the panes inside and out, or maybe a clear film to adhere to each side of the panes - or especially inside to provide some depth and another layer of temp barrier) to help reduce some of the draft coming in through our ancient single-pane windows in the living room?

They are all 8' by 4' and the living room gets FREEZING in the winter and HOT in the summer - and since the thermostat is located in this room it makes the rest of the house difficult to manage.

Aside from replacing the windows (at least $15k from what I understand) is there anything else we can do?

Appears to be zero caulking around any of them - if there is it's long shriveled or dried up and lost effectiveness.




This post was edited on 12/2 at 1:09 pm


SirWinston
LSU Fan
PDX
Member since Jul 2014
48527 posts

re: Any way to reduce draft from old / large single pane windows?
Also we're looking to replace the current 1970's ish metal blinds with some of the roller shades like you see at Starbucks. A nice light cream color that would still allow for visibility / light, but be able to serve as a sort of additional barrier.
This post was edited on 12/2 at 1:09 pm


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hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
10024 posts

re: Any way to reduce draft from old / large single pane windows?
Hello from the land of drafty old raised wooden houses with double-hung windows. I once lived in a raised basement house so drafty, my curtains wafted in the breeze every time the city bus went down the street.

Cheapest/easiest/fastest way to control this problem is heavy, thermally lined drapes. You can buy full length curtains with a light foam "thermal" lining...it will keep out the drafts. Some are lined with dark colors to increase heat gain in winter, others have light colored linings to reflect heat in summer. Pick accordingly. Online sites like Overstock.com have some great prices on drapes, or if you're handy, you can sew 'em yourself.

For summer heat control, blocking light before it ever comes through the window is key. You might consider an awning on the exterior wall to shade the windows.

I'd also get a quote on replacing those windows. I think it could be done for significantly less than $15K, and you would begin accruing an immediate savings in energy efficiency.


SirWinston
LSU Fan
PDX
Member since Jul 2014
48527 posts

re: Any way to reduce draft from old / large single pane windows?
Thanks I did this at my old condo - pricing is a problem now b/c we overextended on this house in a sky high market so we're starting with the roller shades given the cyber monday sale and then we'll address the curtains later on hopefully!


hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
10024 posts

re: Any way to reduce draft from old / large single pane windows?
Thermal roller shades do exist, but they're not as effective as drapes at blocking cold drafts. Drapes are better at creating a dead air space between the window and the room.

Check eBay for used thermal drapes. I'll bet you can find some pretty cheaply that will at least get you through the winter. Buying them too long is fine, they're easily trimmed and hemmed.
This post was edited on 12/2 at 2:52 pm


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Weekend Warrior79
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2014
3958 posts

re: Any way to reduce draft from old / large single pane windows?
I don't know the solution, but I had a similar situation in my old house.

I had someone come in and tint my windows and that drastically helped. Also helped my neighbors from being able to see directly into my house unless they were on my front porch.


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wickowick
LSU Fan
Head of Island
Member since Dec 2006
40681 posts

re: Any way to reduce draft from old / large single pane windows?
You could look to install storm windows, similar to a storm door, installed on the outside of the current window creating an insulated air pocket between the 2 windows


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The Nino
Atlanta United Fan
Member since Jan 2010
19325 posts

re: Any way to reduce draft from old / large single pane windows?
I’d get a few quotes for some window companies. That’s really the only way to fix your issues. Those couple of windows won’t be $15k. And several window companies will offer interest free or low interest financing for 18months or so


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Aristo
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jan 2007
9681 posts

re: Any way to reduce draft from old / large single pane windows?
Start with removing the old caulk and re-caulking. It may help some.


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BottomlandBrew
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2010
20279 posts

re: Any way to reduce draft from old / large single pane windows?
I know you said you were looking for cheaper fixes, but an easy, though not cheap option is to replace the monolithic glass with insulating glass. You have plenty of room to work with there. All you'd need to do is rip the outside stops down to accommodate the new unit thickness. You're likely looking at 3/4 to 1" thick insulating units for something that size. If I'm doing those six in your picture, I'm in the ballpark of $4-5k, and I'm on the expensive side of things in my market. It definitely wouldn't be $15k and you could still keep the look of your house.

Of course then you run in to the issue of finding rotten wood at the bottoms of the frames, which I see more times than not on windows with that type of construction. It looks like I see some soft wood in the bottom of one of those pictures. Can't say for sure without poking it.

A temporary fix is to film the windows on the inside and run a bead of silicone around the perimeter on the outside. Also get some decent curtains. It'll help a little. You can get the windows filmed for a few hundred and DIY the silicone. That buys you some time to get finances in order for a bigger overhaul.


IamPatman
LSU Fan
In The Head Of My Enemies
Member since Nov 2019
6 posts

re: Any way to reduce draft from old / large single pane windows?
That $15K better include installation or high end windows. What you have is direct set fixed windows. Basically a built frame with single pane glass set up against jamb stop and an exterior stop to hold it in place. By the looks of their age and the moisture damage on your sill, the life of the sealant has long expired and the only thing holding it in place is the stop. The temperature differences from interior to exterior will create moisture on the glass that drips down to the sill and has begun to rot the wood frame. If these are 4' x 8' (width first, height 2nd) that creates a number of problems. There are many inexpensive interior storm window options but they are difficult to find that large. I most often use the brand Larson and they top out at 80" height. Worth doing your due diligence to look for...should not be more than $500-$700 each and you can easily install yourself. Thermal curtains will help but not significantly. Another option I see from your pics, buy some stop (1/2" x 3/4" square or similar) and install all 4 sides on your interior. Then get some 4'x8' plexiglass cut to fit set against the stop with clear silicone. Do this as a short term fix until you get the funds together for full replacement which you will need to do sooner rather than later (1-2 years?) Good luck!

EDIT: You should also consider having your thermostat relocated out of that room and possibly down a hall where the bedrooms are located? At least to a location less affected by those temperature differentials...a few hundred bucks to do that would pay for itself in one Louisiana summer.
This post was edited on 12/2 at 5:51 pm


Got Heeem
Presbyterian Fan
Member since Sep 2012
2338 posts

re: Any way to reduce draft from old / large single pane windows?
Buy nest thermostat and get a sensor that you can place in a different room. Nest allows you to use the sensor temp as your control.


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Zappas Stache
Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Member since Apr 2009
26581 posts

re: Any way to reduce draft from old / large single pane windows?
A second pane of glass with silicone spacers between the 2 pieces of glass and caulk inside and out will do 80% of the insulation new windows will. I have done this on all the windows in my 1929 house and it is amazing how much cooler/warmer it is now.


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fightin tigers
Downtown Prairieville
Member since Mar 2008
47418 posts

re: Any way to reduce draft from old / large single pane windows?
I have seen people up north install what is basically platic wrap or visqueen over the inside seal. The kits appear to use double sided 3M sticky tape as a edge then stick the clear wrap/visqueen making a second window.

Look up 3M window insulator kit


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SirWinston
LSU Fan
PDX
Member since Jul 2014
48527 posts

re: Any way to reduce draft from old / large single pane windows?
Thanks to all for these tips I really appreciate it and will look at some.

We bought custom fitted Bali solar shades (with 10% see through) yesterday on Cyber Monday deal and spent $600 to cover all 6 windows. They will sit INSIDE the windows (the current metal blinds are outside) so I'm hoping that gives a little extra protection.

I'll take a look at some of these temporary options suggested or even the insulating glass that BottomlandBrew suggested.



This post was edited on 12/3 at 12:12 pm


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