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Should You Remove Window Screens in Winter?

Yes, it’s a good idea to remove window screens, interior or exterior, each winter as part of your annual home winterization. Removing your window screens ahead of winter weather will allow more light and heat into your home. A snow-covered window screen can block out a significant amount of sunlight. Taking down screens also prevents snow and debris from getting trapped against the glass. With enough trapped snow, moisture and condensation can build up and seep into the window. These are ideal conditions for mold and mildew to grow. 

Homeownership comes with ongoing maintenance, and window care is a big part of annual upkeep. Be sure to add window screen removal to your winter prep to-do list. 

 

Why is it a good idea to remove window screens before winter?

You probably don’t think much about your window screens, especially in winter as temperatures drop and windows are kept closed but they play a role in the overall energy efficiency of your home. Here are a few reasons why you should consider removing your window screens every winter.

 

Prevent Snow and Moisture Build Up

For homes that experience the harshest winter weather, snow and ice can wreak havoc on everything from tree limbs and pipes to roofs and windows. You may not recognize how much damage snow can inflict on a window once a season – with each flurry, a wintry mix of sleet and snow can nestle between a screen and window. Compacted snow leads to a lack of sunlight, heat, reducing overall energy efficiency, and could even physically damage your window.

Screens, particularly interior screens used in casement windows, can trap condensation. If not routinely cleaned or removed, excess humidity in the air collects against the window. Any moisture that develops is behind the screen and may go unnoticed. Unchecked, the damp air can permeate into the window and eventually foster the growth of mold and mildew.

 

Let In More Natural Light

Without a doubt, the most significant benefit to removing window screens in winter is the increase in natural light. Dirty, snow-covered window screens can block coveted sunlight on dreary winter days. The additional sunlight can also help brighten your mood and combat seasonal affective disorder that is common this time of year. As the days grow shorter and we spend more time at home, why not maximize all the daylight you can get? 

 

Increase Solar Energy/Heat from the Sun

Screens filter out much-needed warmth and light during the winter. According to BuildingGreen, removing your window screens allows in as much as 30% to 40% more light and heat. Homes capture that solar energy will see a reduction in fuel or electric use, easing the burden on HVAC units to improve overall heating efficiency. That’s a nice boost to your energy savings. 

 

Cleaning and Upkeep

Like pressure washing or cleaning out your gutters once a year, your exterior window screens need a good scrubbing now and then. Removing outer screens helps get your home ready for winter while also offering the perfect opportunity to clean away any dirt or debris. For a quick and easy clean, thoroughly hose off each screen and scrub with a brush and some mild soap to clear away any grime from the mesh. If you’ve never taken off your window screens before, you may notice some signs of wear and tear. Take a moment to inspect sills and frames for water damage or deteriorating caulk. If you make this part of your annual home maintenance routine, you may be able to repair minor issues and stop further damage before it gets out of hand.

 

Winter weather wearing down your windows? Maximize your home’s energy efficiency for all seasons with durable, professionally installed windows from LEI Home Enhancements. Contact the team at LEI for a free consultation today.