5 Reasons to Remove Your Window Screens for Winter

by Kim Causey
installing a mosquito screen

As the trees start changing colors, the leaves fall and the air is gets cooler, many homeowners like yourself take care of some seasonal maintenance around the house. Do you have "remove window screens" on your annual to-do list? If not, you should consider it.

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Window screens are good for allowing fresh air in while keeping the bugs and debris out. But, there are also advantages to removing them for the fall and winter months.

Here are five benefits of removing your window screens:

1. Snowstorms Can Flake Off!

Removing your window screens will prevent snow from being trapped between the screen and the window when the white stuff starts coming down. In a snowstorm, snow and ice can get caught and cause damage to the window, your window sill and even the window screen. If where you live isn't prone to snow and ice, removing the window screen can still help you keep debris from getting caught in between the screen and the window, which can also cause damage.

2. Basking in the Glow

Let there be light! One of the most obvious reasons to remove your screens is to let more natural light in — a zero-cost pick-me-up during the dreary winter doldrums. Also, with your screens removed, you have a better and clearer view of the outdoor landscape and trees from the comfort of your couch or favorite chair with less obstruction.

3. Warming Up to Winter

Your window screens are not just a barrier for sunlight but also for heat. Removing the screens will increase your solar heat absorption as well as your home's energy efficiency — giving your heating system a break and saving you money. The biggest difference will be felt in your south- and east-facing windows. It's generally warmer by up to 8 degrees in the brightest times of the day versus having screened windows in the same areas.

4. Screen Cleaning

Since you've already got your window screens out, now's the perfect time to give them a good annual cleaning. Here's how to go about it:

  • You'll need a garden hose, mild dish soap and a soft-bristle brush.
  • Scrub the screen with the brush using your dish soap and warm-water mixture.
  • Then, rinse off the screens with the garden hose.
  • Allow your screens to dry completely before putting them away for the season.

Take care to store them in a low-traffic area out of the way so they won't get damaged, for example in an area of the garage you don't use. You can lay them flat or stand them upright in a dry area where the temperature is fairly consistent. Placing a plastic sheet over your screens can help keep them clean, and free from damage and debris.

5. Easy Inspection

Now that you have your window screens removed, cleaned and put away, you can inspect your windows. Check the condition of the window frames as well as the windows themselves. (You might also want to check your screens before putting them into storage for any have tears or holes, in which case they may need to be replaced.)

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Inspection Checklist:

  • Examine weather stripping and caulking around your windows, making sure there's an airtight seal.
  • Install your storm windows early in the season; do not wait until the first snowstorm has hit.
  • Search for cracks and gaps in the window frame. If you find any, consider having them fixed.
  • Securely lock all of your windows. Just because your window is closed doesn't mean it is sealed properly. By locking the window you create an airtight seal and can help eliminate drafts.
  • Once the temperature has dropped, take one last walkthrough, checking for drafts around windows. You may find that you need to replace caulking or that you have a rotted window sill.
  • Keep your winter window checklist handy and refer to it next fall as well. Making sure your windows are ready for fall and winter can help you reduce damage to your windows while reducing your energy costs — saving you money in the long run.

Since we're all home now more than ever, being prepared for unexpected home repairs with a plan from HomeServe is important. Having a plan in place gives you the peace of mind knowing that you can simply call our 24/7 repair hotline for covered breakdowns. See what plans are available in your neighborhood.