Have you ever walked past your window and felt a chilly pocket of air? It may be resulting from a few drafty windows. Aside from the discomfort, this can also cause your HVAC system to be working in overdrive and lead to energy bill spikes.
Windows are primarily used to help ventilate your home and the materials typically withstand a great deal of wear and tear throughout the years. Just like the human body requires stretching and physical activity to stay fit, windows also require respective maintenance in order to work effectively.
3 Culprits of Drafty Windows
Drafty windows typically result from damages to a window’s weatherstripping which, aside from aging materials and annual wear and tear, can be caused by a number of things, including:
- Extreme changes in the outside temperature
- Increased moisture
- Poor installation
How to Fix Drafty Windows
The first step in fixing a drafty window is to find the source.
Whether you have noticed an unusual spike in your energy bills, or have felt a hot or cold air pocket in your home, you have to determine the part of whichever window is allowing air to seep in and out in order to properly fix it.
You can easily do this by lighting a match or a candle and holding it around the window to see where or if the flame flickers--then mark it.
Now that you know and have marked where the drafts are coming from, you can fix them. Here are three tips to help you get started.
1. Replace Your Weather Stripping
Your weather stripping is likely the main source of your drafty windows. From extreme weather fluctuations to high levels of moisture, it can erode the material over time eventually making it defective. Replacing your weather stripping is a simple, inexpensive quick fix to help you restore your home’s insulation and get your energy bills back on track.
2. Recaulk Your Window Frame
Much like weather stripping, the caulk around your window frame can slowly erode and develop small cracks and gaps over time given the right weather conditions and wear and tear. Check around the window frame for any damage or degradation and recaulk as necessary.
3. Upgrade Your Windows
Weatherstripping and caulking are temporary quick fixes to your drafty windows. If you want a more permanent solution, you should consider replacing and upgrading your windows to double-pane installations which are known to diffuse heat transfer and reduce window conductivity helping improve your home’s overall energy performance.
*If upgrading your windows is not in your current budget, but the drafts are draining your finances via increased energy bills, you may consider another temporary fix by installing a window insert or an interior storm window.
Find the Best Solutions to Beat Drafty Windows
Whether it is chilly or hot outside, drafty windows pose a threat to your home’s energy efficiency and to your pocketbook. There are a few temporary fixes to battling drafty windows (as mentioned above) but the ultimate way to combat them is by replacing them with better solutions, such as double-pane windows.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy,
“Warm air leaking into your home during the summer and out of your home during the winter can waste a lot of your energy dollars. The potential energy savings from reducing drafts in a home may range from 5% to 30% per year, and the home is generally much more comfortable afterward.”
Not sure which solutions are the best fit for your home’s architectural design and your lifestyle? Click the button below to download our Shopping Guide to help you evaluate the best solution for you.