It’s Almost Winter – Do I Leave the Screens in my Windows?

It’s Almost Winter – Do I Leave the Screens in my Windows?

To the dismay of many, cold weather has put an end to opening our windows to let in a fresh breeze. As homeowners prepare their homes for the winter season, you may wonder if you should remove your window screens. For most, it’s simply a matter of preference whether you remove the screens from your windows or leave them in all winter. But if you do decide to remove them, there are a few benefits.

It’s a good habit to take your screens out in the late fall and replace them in early spring, using this opportunity to give the windowsills and exterior of your windows a good cleaning. Visually inspect your screens for any signs of wear or damage and perform needed repairs. Store your screens in your basement or garage, preferably away from high traffic areas that could cause damage to them. Before you replace your screens in the springtime, give them a good hosing down and scrubbing before replacing them.

Homeowners may also realize some benefit by removing the screens if those windows receive direct sunlight in the winter. This is especially important if your home has single pane windows – you’ll want to remove the screens and replace them with storm windows. But even if you do have double pane windows, screens still typically block up to 30% of the sunlight. By removing the screens from the south and east facing windows, you’ll give your home a warm air boost in the form of solar heating from the sun.

Also, the mid-Atlantic area can get pretty cold in the winter along with our fair share of snow storms. And meteorologists are predicting more snow fall for the coming season than we had last year. During a snow fall, window screens can collect snow and ice, which could lead to window damage as well as stretched and sagging screens.

The same reasoning for winter removal can be applied to screen doors. If you have a screen storm door or sliding patio door, removing it will allow more warming sunlight into your home during the winter. And if we do have a measureable snow fall, the snow that gathers in and around your screen door could make it difficult, if not impossible, to open.

While not a necessary task when preparing your home for winter, removing your screens can potentially provide your home with free solar heating and allow more natural sunlight into your home. This can also provide the opportunity for a good cleaning of your windows and improve your view of the outdoors.

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