Weatherstrip double-hung (or sash) windows: A Do-It-Yourself Savings Project

Weatherstripping can be used in your home to stop air leaks at joints that move, like windows and doors. If you’re not very handy, you might want to hire a professional for this project. These steps will guide you if you are comfortable with the project.

Add the perimeters of each window and door to be weatherstripped. Then add 10 percent for any waste. Consider the fact that weatherstripping can be purchased in different depths and sizes when choosing which type to use. Select a weatherstripping that can withstand friction, weather changes, temperature fluctuations, and wear-and-tear associated with the location. You should also note that every window has a gap between the framed opening and the window sash (e.g., 1/4 to 1/2″). It is often difficult to see this gap, which is often the source of air and thermal leakage. If you want to make a big impact on the performance of your home, fill this opening with non-expanding insulation foam. Expanding foam can compromise the window’s operation.

Sources: “Airtight Windows In 9 Steps” by Josh Garskof in This Old House magazine, “Weather Strip Your Windows,”

Before you start

Find out if you need an energy assessment.

If you are unsure, try caulking and weatherstripping to see which is best for your needs.

Decide whether you will be weatherstripping double-hung (sash) windows or “casement type” windows (which have a hinge at the side that is operated by a crank or lever to open outwards or inwards from a space).

Clean all edges that will be weather-stripped

Use soap and water to clean the inner edges of the frame of the window and the bottom of the sash. Let everything completely dry before continuing.

Before cutting the material, measure the length of each side.

The V-strip should be cut into two strips, one for each side. Add an inch to the length. Also, you’ll need to cut ribbons at the top and bottom of the outer sash.

Open the window as wide as possible.

Peel off the V-strip backing (except the two extra inches at the end).

The adhesive side of this strip should be pressed into the groove where the sash is located. Fold the material back over and adhere the extra inch of the backing (the piece you left on the material) under the belt. Finish nails are driven through the weather stripping and into the jambs to secure it. Test the belt and make sure it does not catch on the nails.

Remove the backing of the weatherstripping, which should have been sticking out an extra inch above the

The adhesive will stick to the surface when you press it in.

Lower the outer sash to the maximum

Install the weatherstripping in the same manner as you did for the inner sash but on both sides. Weatherstripping should also be applied to the outer sash’s top.

Reinstall the outer sash. Install the weatherstripping at the bottom edge of the lower belt.

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