3 Easy Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency in Your Timber Windows and Shutters

20 July 2016
 Categories: , Blog


When incorporating wooden windows in your house, it's important to ensure that they are properly installed and that steps are taken to protect you from unnecessary heat gain or loss that would crank up your energy bills. If you already have timber windows in your house, you may be wondering how you can improve their thermal insulation capability. Replacing should actually be your last option; if you have sturdy frames, you or your contractor can take the following steps to cheaply increase efficiency and keep your old materials from the landfills.

Use putty

Window putty is made by blending lime-based powder with natural oils such as linseed oil to give a malleable product which sets over time to cover any spaces between the glass and timber frames on a window. Slightly varied formulations can be used as a sealant and filler for plumbing as well as in other areas. If your window putty is cracked, you could be losing energy to the atmosphere and it should be repaired or replaced.

To do this, you or your contractor will take out the old, cracked putty, clean the area and then install the new putty. You can use ready-prepared putty or only prepare as much as you need for your application — any extra will set over time and go to waste. Once finished, unsightly smears on glass can be removed by rubbing out with mineral spirit and a piece of lint-free cloth. The putty should be allowed to dry before painting. Be sure not to add paraffin as some people do to hasten drying; paraffin causes the putty to crack much faster.

Replace your wooden beads

Some timber windows have wooden glazing beads on the external frame to hold glass panes secure. These beads should hold snugly to ensure that there isn't any space between the glass and timber frame. If there is a loose fit, take out the old beads use window caulk and glazing silicone to seal up the space. New beads can then be nailed in the silicone, ensuring that the beads sit properly against the glass to hold in place.

Use double- or triple-glazed glass

Double and triple-glazed glass are made by combining two or three layers of thin glass respectively, separated by an air space. Each layer of glass therefore provides additional insulation as the air pocket traps some heat. You can also improve insulation by getting glass with reflective coating. In addition to insulation, adding a layer of glazing can improve noise transference, and hence double-, triple- and even quadruple-glazed windows can be used to minimise noise if you live in a noisy place.