What Are the Causes of Drafty Windows and How to Solve Them?

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Drafty windows are a common issue in many homes, leading to increased energy bills, discomfort during colder months and even pest problems. Understanding the causes of drafty windows and addressing them effectively can enhance your home’s energy efficiency and comfort. Below are some reasons why windows become drafty and the best ways to solve these issues.

Causes of Drafty Windows

Worn out seals

Over time, the seals around windows can become worn or damaged due to exposure to elements and general aging. This deterioration creates gaps through which air can pass, leading to drafts.

Poor installation

Improper installation of windows can leave gaps and spaces between the window frame and the building structure. These gaps are prime spots for air leaks.

Shrinking and swelling of materials

Wooden window frames can swell with humidity and shrink in dry conditions, often leading to gaps that weren’t initially present when the windows were installed.

Faulty or aged caulking

Caulking around windows can crack and shrink over time. As it deteriorates, it becomes less effective at sealing out air.

Damaged weather stripping

Weather stripping is crucial for creating a tight seal that blocks air movement. If the weather stripping is torn, compressed or missing, drafts will occur.

Solutions to Drafty Windows

Replace weather stripping

Check the weather stripping around each window. If it’s damaged or missing, replace it. Weather stripping is inexpensive and can usually be applied easily, providing an immediate improvement in reducing drafts.

Re-caulk window frames

Remove old, cracked caulking around the window frames, and apply new caulk. For the best results, clean the areas thoroughly before applying new caulk to ensure it adheres properly.

Apply window film

Window insulation film can be a temporary fix for reducing drafts. It’s applied directly over the glass and shrunk with a hair dryer to remove any wrinkles, creating an air-tight seal.

Repair or replace seals

Inspect the seals around your windows. If they are visibly cracked or seem brittle, replace them. You might need a professional to do this depending on the type of window.

Address structural issues

If drafts are coming from poor installation or structural gaps, these might require more extensive repairs. In some cases, re-installing the window or adding new framing may be necessary.

Window replacement

If your windows are old and inefficient, sometimes the best solution is to replace them with modern, energy-efficient models. Look for windows with double or triple glazing and inert gas fillings, which are much more effective at preventing drafts and reducing energy loss.

Eliminate Drafty Windows with a Window Replacement

Tackling drafty windows can significantly improve your home’s comfort and energy efficiency. Start by identifying the cause of the drafts using the above tips, then choose the most appropriate solution. Whether it’s a simple fix like replacing weather stripping or a larger investment like new windows, addressing this issue will pay off in terms of both comfort and energy savings. For a free estimate on replacement windows for your home, contact Greco Roman Construction and Design.