With the coming winter season, homeowners often ask us “should I be removing and storing my window screens for the winter?” The answer for most will be yes. Those of you who still enjoy opening your windows during the winter may want to keep your screen in to prevent snow from coming in. For everyone else, we recommend removing & storing your window screens during the winter for many reasons.
The Many Benefits of Removing Window Screens During the Winter
- If your home is still outfitted with single pane windows, you should definitely remove your screens and replace them with storm windows to create more of a barrier against the harsh Canadian winters. Single pane windows are not very efficient - the extra thermal barrier of a storm window will help you keep the warm air indoors.
- Removing your screens will prevent snow from getting trapped between the screen and the window. In a snowstorm, it’s possible for snow and/or ice to get caught and cause damage to your window, your sill and even to your screen.
- In casement windows, where the screen is inside your home, your screen can act as a screen that traps condensation between the screen and the window - this can create a perfect opportunity for mold & mildew to develop.
- Let there be more light! An obvious benefit of removing the screens is that it allows for more natural light to come in through your windows. The biggest difference will be felt in your south and east facing windows.
- Your window screens aren’t just a barrier for sunlight, they are also a barrier for heat. Removing your screens will increase your solar heat gain coefficient (The ratio of the solar heat gain entering the space through the fenestration product to the incident solar radiation.) The heat from the sun will increase your home’s energy efficiency and give your heating system a break, saving you money.
- Finally, removing the screens will prevent any dirt or debris from getting stuck between the screen and window and possibly damaging either. It will also make spring cleaning a breeze!
Annual Window and Screen Maintenance
We hope that you now agree that removing your screens during the winter is a good idea. If so, here’s another benefit to doing so.
For optimal performance and longevity, it’s important to inspect and properly maintain your window screens. By removing them every winter, you get a chance to inspect and clean your screens, extending their useful life. This is also a great opportunity to inspect your windows and and frames to see what condition they are in and to take advantage of your warranty if any of your windows need repairing. Lastly, it’s great time to clean the sash and tracks of your windows.
How to Clean and Maintain Window Screens
Making sure to keep your window screens clean will extend their useful life and allow more natural light to come through while they are in use.
- Label your screens: If you are going to remove & clean all your screens at once, we suggest using masking tape and a marker to indicate which screen goes with which window to avoid trying to figure it out in the spring.
- Vacuum both sides. Vacuuming your screens will gently to remove loose debris like spider webs, dust and pollen.
- Wash with soapy water. You can make an easy cleaning solution by mixing 1/4 cup of liquid all-purpose cleaner with 1/2 gallon of water in a bucket. Place your screens upright and with a sponge or a microfiber cloth, go over the surface of the screen and the frame on both sides.
- Rinse with water. Before the soap has time to dry and leave a film, thoroughly rinse your screens with water. If using a garden hose, be mindful to use a low pressure setting so that you don’t damage your screens.
- Dry well. Before you store your screens, you want to make sure to dry thoroughly. Start by using a towel to absorb excess water and then leave to air dry.
Now that your window screens are clean & dry, take care to store them in an area where there is little foot traffic so they don’t get damaged during the winter.
If you think it’s time to replace your windows before the winter months to ensure a warm and cozy environment for your family - not to mention the break that energy efficient windows provide for your wallet, do not hesitate to contact us for a free quote!