Tips to Seal Drafty Windows
In the middle of winter or early spring, there’s little worse than a drafty window. It lets cold air into your once warm home, fogs up the windows, and possibly even dampens the window ledge or walls around your window, making them more susceptible to mold or mildew. Fortunately, window drafts are not inevitable. With these tips, you can seal up your drafty windows and boost your home’s energy efficiency as well as your home comfort. But first, let’s talk about window drafts themselves.
The Problem With Drafty Windows
Window drafts don’t feel comfortable, of course, but beyond the initial discomfort, they can cause other issues in your home. When cold air is frequently met with the warm air inside, it can cause window condensation or a fogging of your windows. It can also cause your heating bills to spike, as your heating unit has to work that much harder in order to make your home more comfortable. In the long run, it could even lead to a need for repairs with your furnace or heat pump as it becomes worn down from overwork. Additionally, drafty windows might lead to pests getting in, or moisture getting in and causing mold and mildew issues.
Know the Causes of Drafty Windows
If you want to seal your drafty windows, first you have to know what causes drafty windows so you can combat them at the source. Some of the most common causes of drafty windows include:
- A broken seal. If you have double or triple-paned windows that break, the krypton or argon glass used to slow the air flow between panes could escape through the crack. As these are non-toxic gases, they won’t harm your home, but they will make your windows less sealed.
- Old caulk. Window caulk is used to seal the edges around your windows. If it’s old, it may be worn down and cracked, and in need of re-sealing.
- A poor installation/window fit. If your window was not properly installed or did not properly fit the window opening, you could have more and more air leaking into your home and more heat escaping out.
- Too thin windows. If your windows are too narrow or are not energy efficient, you’re likely to experience more heat loss and air leakage.
Install Triple Pane Windows
Are your windows old and thin? You’re not likely to get much protection from drafts with those. These days, the most energy efficient, draft-proof windows are triple pane windows. These windows are made up of three panes of glass, with a mixture of non-toxic krypton and argon gases between each pane to slow down the airflow from one side to the other. This will keep drafts out of your home and reduce window condensation. It’s possible, then, that the first tip for sealing drafty windows is simply to swap them out for more reliable windows.
Check the Caulk
When was the last time you sealed the edges of the window with caulk? While caulk is a great solution for sealing your windows, it will not last forever. Make sure you take the time to look over the caulk around each of your windows. If you notice any cracks, make sure you fill those in. If the caulk has become worn down, it may be time to seal it again in preparation for the year ahead.
Repair Any Window Cracks
Window cracks are obviously problematic for your window for a number of reasons. They’re unsightly, they speak to possible problems in the future, and of course they let in window drafts. As stated above, this can be especially problematic with double or triple pane windows. Window cracks not only provide an opening but provide an escape for the gas fillings used to keep drafts out, thereby siphoning away your window’s very defense against drafts. If your window is cracked, have it repaired right away rather than waiting until later in the year when it could worsen.
Weatherstrip Your Windows
Another way to seal the windows is by weatherstripping. Weatherstripping involves adhesive strips of rubber or foam or other insulating materials that wrap around all the edges of your windows. This adds a sturdy barrier against air leakage, and when combined with triple pane windows, it’s hard to imagine you’ll have to worry much about drafty windows this winter or spring.
Use Plastic Window Wrap
The Midwest is known for having quite harsh winters at times, and it’s a good idea to be as prepared for that as possible. Plastic window wrap is clear, and once it’s installed, you might not even notice the difference visually. However, this can help to add another layer of fortification to your windows to keep window drafts out and your heating bills low.
You can also help to keep drafts out by installing heavy drapes. Drapes are a great solution because they can be pulled away from the window during the day so that you can enjoy the much needed sunlight, but they’ll help to block air leakage and heat loss during the evening. Again, when drapes are used in conjunction with an energy efficient window and other measures, they’re a powerful stopper against window drafts.
No one wants to deal with a drafty window. Not in winter or spring and not throughout the rest of the year. If you need to replace your windows in order to be comfortable in your home this year, let XteriorPRO help. We offer only top of the line triple pane windows, so they not only look beautiful but provide unbeatable protection for your window. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule your free window estimate to get started.