It’s finally fall and the temperatures are dropping. You’ve stopped air conditioning your home and have switched to heat. But your house still seems kind of cold—especially around your windows.
Your windows might be drafty—meaning that they are no longer airtight, and they’re leaking cold air into your home.
Drafty windows can be an extremely annoying problem: not only do they make your home less comfortable, they result in you throwing money away. You have to crank up the heat more and more just to keep your house warm because most of the warm air is escaping outside!
To fix drafty windows, you have a few options. What you do will depend on the quality of your windows and whether they are worth repairing. We’ll walk you through a few fixes for drafty windows, below.
Caulking can fix air leaks in areas that are less than a quarter inch wide. This means that caulk works well for small cracks but won’t fix leaks for wide gaps. Caulk can only be used to fix leaks around stationary parts of the window. (For moving parts, use weatherstripping instead.)
Before applying new caulk, always remember to remove old caulk and clean the window. The surface you are caulking should be clean and dry. The type of caulk you use matters, too: go for silicone instead of acrylic. (Acrylic will crack over time and result in new leaks.)
Weatherstripping seals the sash, or moving parts, of the window. It can get old and worn out, so it might be time to replace yours.
There are several different types of weatherstripping, each at different price points. These include adhesive-backed foam, tubular gasket, v-seal weatherstripping, and felt. Felt, for example, is the cheapest, but it needs to be replaced every two to four years.
In addition to fixing the window itself, window treatments can go a long way in cutting down on drafts.
Heavy or insulating curtains, for example, can make windows feel less drafty and have the advantage of matching your decor. However, they will let in less light.
Storm windows are another window addition that can be a good, budget-friendly fix for drafty windows. (They’re also an ideal solution if your current windows are original to the house.) They can be installed on the interior or exterior of the window, and the materials used range from plastic sheets to glass with low-E coatings.
Your best bet may be interior storm windows, because they are easier to install, require less maintenance, and are better at keeping air from coming in. Whether you choose plastic or glass will depend on your budget: plastic panels are cheaper but are easier to damage. (If you can afford exterior storm windows, it’s often a better idea to get replacement windows: it’s more cost-effective in the long run.)
Replacing your windows might seem like an extreme fix, but it’s well worth the investment.
Old, single-pane windows, for example, are not usually worth fixing. Why is that? Today’s double-pane windows are much more insulating and are more energy efficient than single-pane windows. Because of their increased energy efficiency, double-pane windows will save you money on your heating and cooling bills every year. Double-pane windows will also add value to your home. (This means that replacement windows offer a great return on investment in the long run.)
Consider looking into replacing old, drafty windows with energy-efficient ones that won’t require winterizing every year!
We Can Help
If you’re in the market to repair or replace old and drafty windows, call the residential glass experts at Jack’s Glass. We would be happy to answer your questions and help you figure out the best solution.
Call us today!