One of the best parts about spring is opening your windows and airing out your house after a long, cold winter. That wonderful spring air flows through the rooms of your home, not only making your home smell fresh but waking up your senses to all that spring has in store. But if you removed your window screens in the fall, you’ll need to replace them first.
Screens should be in place in the spring and summer months, even on windows that you rarely open. It’s recommended that you remove screens in winter to improve solar heat gain. Sun coming in your windows, particularly south and east facing windows, will warm your home in the winter due to solar heat gain. But in the summer, solar heat gain is undesirable. Reinstalling your screens can block about 30-40% of the heat that would otherwise enter the room.
If you stored your screens in the garage or basement, they may have gathered some dust over the winter. Take them out into your yard and give them a good hose down with the garden hose and let them dry in the sunlight. Inspect each screen for any tears or damage, and make repairs if required. Handle screens with care so you don’t warp the frame. Warped frames will leave gaps once installed, allowing pests to enter your home.
In general, most window screens are mounted on the exterior side of the window, including double hung windows and slider windows. And most are installed/removed in a similar manner. There are typically rectangular or square lift tabs towards the bottom of the screen. Take your screen and slide it into the top portion of the window. Then compress the lift tabs and work the screen into position in the window frame. Releasing the tabs will release the tension springs and your screen should be held in place.
While you’re up close and personal with your windows, inspect them for any damage they may have sustained over the winter. Look for any signs of water damage or infiltration, loose or missing weatherstripping, or damage to the window frame. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can clean the window glass while you’re at it.