Window_Drafts-_Causes_and_FixesUp to 20 percent of your home’s heated and cooled air can blow right out a drafty window. Leaks not only make your HVAC system work harder, they also take a significant bite out of your monthly budget. If you have been living with air leaks, follow this guide to help you isolate the causes and plan appropriate fixes for window drafts.

Finding and Fixing Drafty Windows

Fortunately, it is relatively easy to locate window drafts drafts. The most obvious sign is condensation on the window. Next, close and lock all windows tightly and feel for leaks. You can also hold a candle in front of each window and watch for flickering – just be careful around your window treatments.

Once you’ve located a drafty window, you can begin the process of sealing the gaps to help fix the air leaks. Some methods of fixing window drafts are temporary and inexpensive, while more permanent options are better left to professionals. The right fix will be determined by the severity of the draft, the cause of the draft, and your budget.

  • Gaps in the sash and jamb – This is one of the most common sources of window drafts and if the leak is small, it can typically be fixed with weatherstripping, which can be purchased for a low cost at your local hardware or home improvement store.  You can choose from foam, felt, plastic or even metal. The strips are cut to size and inserted in the gap to fill the space.
  • Window casing leaks – If a gap has developed inside where the window meets the casing or outside where the casing meets the siding, caulk can be used to fill the leak. Caulk is easy to use and inexpensive to purchase. It is important to remember that caulk deteriorates over time, and if you’ve had to caulk in the past, you should keep an eye on it and refill it as needed.
  • Original, single pane windows in historic homes – single-pane windows are often the draftiest windows. Leaks can be lessened around the window using weatherstripping or caulk, and the glass can be fortified with a layer of insulation film (if you aren’t planning on opening the window anytime soon). The film is attached to the frame with double-sided tape and then heated to create an airtight seal. Single pane windows can also be fortified using storm windows.

A Permanent Fix For Window Drafts

Once windows start leaking, the problem will only worsen over time. Even if you take care to fill in every crack and crevice, you can’t make an old, drafty window as energy efficient as a new window. Homeowners often put off buying replacement windows because of the upfront costs associated with the investment. The good news? Replacement windows are, in fact, an investment. According to the real estate website Zillow, upon resale, the average homeowner gets back almost 80 percent of the cost of the replacement. And when replacement windows are properly installed, they can completely eliminate window drafts and lower energy bills up to 15 percent each month.

If you are growing tired of sky high energy bills and you’re sick of weatherizing your windows each and every year, it’s probably time to consider a plan for replacing your old, drafty windows. At Legacy Remodeling, we know that this investment requires a great deal of consideration, and our team is ready to help answer any questions you may have and we can help you choose windows that will improve your energy efficiency and the look of your home. Contact us today to learn more.