Should You Repair or Replace Drafty Windows?

When sitting near your windows, do you ever feel a draft come through? Residents in Arizona tend to notice this more in the winter, as some warm air is let out and cold air comes through. This can be a huge frustration, making the home less comfortable and efficient. But is it really necessary to replace the windows, or is it possible that a quick repair can fix the problem?

In some cases, you’ll have the option to repair or replace your windows in Phoenix. However, it’s more common to need a full replacement, as windows only last so long. Let’s discuss the reasons why windows get drafty and how to know if it’s time to replace them.

Reasons Why Windows Get Drafty

There are many reasons why windows get drafty, but the most common is due to window seal failure. When the seal on your double- or triple-pane window breaks, the argon gas between the glass panes escapes. Your windows are no longer efficient when this happens. Window seals can break for a number of reasons such as wear and tear, poor installation or the outside elements.

Aside from window seal failure, there are a few other ways that your windows can get drafty:

  • Improper installation
  • Cracks in the window caulk
  • Aging windows and frames
  • Poor energy efficiency
  • High levels of moisture
  • Unaddressed mold

Is it Worth Fixing a Drafty Window?

Windows account for 25 to 30 percent of residential heating and cooling energy use, so you don’t want to overlook them. If your windows are drafty, you’ll lose even more efficiency. Whether or not you should repair or replace your drafty windows depends on several factors, including their age, the cause of the drafts and the quality of the installation.

If your windows are older, it’s usually best to replace them because repairs only plug the leaks. They do not restore the window’s energy efficiency. Once the insulating gas escapes, the window will always be less efficient. At this point, you’ll have to replace the window.

However, if the window caulk has worn down, you can start by recaulking around the windows. It’s also possible that there are other issues that need to be addressed in the home, such as an under-insulated and poorly sealed attic. To get the maximum efficiency, you’ll need to fix these issues as well.

How to Improve the Efficiency of Your Windows

You have two main options if you want to improve comfort in your home: You can update your windows or replace them. Keep in mind that your windows can only be as efficient as they are made to be. If they’re 20 years old or have single-pane glass, their efficiency will be limited.

Here are a few things you can do if you plan on updating your windows:

  • Check windows for air leaks
  • Caulk and weatherstrip
  • Add energy efficient window coverings
  • Install solar control film
  • Add exterior shading like awnings

While repairing your windows can buy you more time and make your windows more efficient, it’s often a short-term fix. Replacement windows will give you new glass and moving parts. Because everything is new, you can expect noise reduction, enhanced curb appeal, better security and greater efficiency.

Schedule a free consultation with Greco Roman Construction and Design to learn more about your options for improving drafty windows in your Arizona home.