Windows are not just there for one purpose, such as letting in light. They’re there for several purposes, including airing out your space and keeping it protected from the weather. They can’t be the weak link in your home’s thermal envelope, either. And of course, windows add character to the aesthetics of your home.
Over time, however, windows can start failing in some of those functions. You will notice if your windows are letting in drafts. Your home becomes less comfortable and your heating bills might also spike, as your HVAC is working harder to maintain that indoor temperature you prefer.
Why Windows Rattle and Leak
There are several reasons windows can get drafty. If they’re old, however, draft leaks are often due to brittle glazing putty. The putty cracks and your windows may start to rattle when the wind hits them. Wood windows typically shrink and expand with the weather more than other windows made of different materials. This can make them lose their insulating properties. In some other windows, the gaskets and weather stripping give out over time.
How to Deal With Drafty Windows
There are some easy emergency fixes for drafty windows, in case it’s the middle of winter and you’re still deciding on replacement windows. Shrink film, weather stripping, caulk and other materials can seal your windows, albeit temporarily.
It’s not a good idea to wait long before replacing windows that are obviously past their service life. But there are some fixes that might delay the need for replacements a bit longer without compromising your home’s thermal comfort and efficiency.
- Replace missing or loose glazing. This is quick and cheap, and even if you’re not very handy with such things, you can still seal leaks. Avoid this if an unsightly mess will bother you, though. Ask a professional to do it for you instead.
- Use your storm windows. Old storm windows are still good for adding some insulation. Reglaze and repaint them, then put them up when the weather starts to get cold.
If you think your windows are way past the point of such simple solutions, then it’s time to call a professional to replace them with better windows.