How to fix drafty windows.
  • Category:
    Home Energy Savings
  • Published:
    November 16, 2023

How to Fix Drafty Windows

Drafty windows bring a chill into your home during the winter. In the summer, they let air conditioned air escape. In both cases, your electricity bill is likely to be higher because you’re having to run your A/C or heat longer to cool down or warm up your house. Below you will find information on how to seal window gaps and prevent window drafts with effective weatherproofing windows for year-round savings.

What Causes Drafty Windows?

The reasons you have cold air coming through windows varies. Common drafty window causes include:

  • Incomplete closure. Your windows may not form a tight seal when closed.
  • Poor installation. If your windows were not properly fitted, you may find gaps around the frames.
  • Old technology. Single pane windows actually conduct the cold into your home.
  • Cracked panes and frames. Cold air can seep in through damaged materials.
  • Mold issues. Mold can grow in the moisture from condensation in and around your windows, breaking down materials and causing drafts.
  • Old caulk. Materials used to seal panes and sashes eventually decay and become ineffective.

How to Tell if You Have Drafty Windows

Before we discuss how to fix drafty windows, here are the tell-tale signs you have a window draft problem.

The most obvious indication of a draft is that you feel it. You might also see the curtains moving in the air flow. You can put a candle near your window and see if it flickers–a sure sign you have a draft.

You might see fog or frost forming on the glass or in between the panes. When moist indoor air meets the draft it condenses onto the glass and can even form a layer of frost.

You might also see physical damage to your window. Is it crooked? Do you have trouble closing it? Maybe you can see cracked panes, frames or caulk. You might even hear your windows rattle in the wind.

Benefits of Weatherproofing Your Windows

Because drafty windows may increase your heating bill and make your home uncomfortable, you will want to explore how to keep cold air from coming through the windows of your home.

The ideal solution is to replace old, inefficient windows or those that are damaged. That can be an expensive fix and a big project. Thankfully, weatherproofing windows is a less expensive alternative that typically doesn’t take too much effort.

Here are some ideas for how to block drafty windows and slash your energy bill this winter. Many of these ideas will also work in the summer.

7 Fixes to Keep Cold Air from Coming Through Windows

How to keep cold air from coming through windows.

These energy saving tips to make a difference may help to cut your heating bill this winter, control your air conditioning costs in the summer and keep your home more comfortable year-round. They have the advantage of being easy to do and won’t cost a lot of money.

1. Sash Locks

These devices mechanically clamp down on your window sashes to ensure the tightest possible closure – tighter than you can achieve manually. They not only are a great way for how to seal drafty windows, they prevent intruders from forcing their way in, adding a measure of security.

2. Weatherstripping

Weatherstripping is one of the easiest and least expensive ways for you to fix drafty windows. You can use different types of weatherstripping like felt strips, foam tape or press-on vinyl to fill gaps and keep out the cold. Weatherstripping will also insulate windows to keep hot air out in the summer.

3. Caulk

Caulk is a flexible material that you apply in a goopy form that hardens into a solid, yet flexible seal. Permanent caulk forms a permanent seal that is durable, yet hard to remove. If you are looking for a more temporary solution, removable caulk peels off easily.

4. Window Insulation Kits

A highly effective though temporary way to prevent window drafts is to apply a clear plastic film over the entire interior of your window. You apply it with two-sided tape, then use a warm hair dryer to shrink the film for a tight, draft-proof fit. You won’t be able to open and close your window until you remove the insulation kit film.

5. Draft Stoppers

How to fix drafty windows when you have large gaps is to use physical barriers like draft stoppers. You can buy closed cell foam tubes that slip under the sash to fit against window gaps. Other draft stoppers attach to your window with adhesive. You can make your own window snakes using fabric stuffed with material for insulation.

6. Interior Storm Windows

These removable glass frames work like window insulation kits to block and prevent window drafts. Install them inside your windows for the duration of winter weather. They are a more durable choice for weatherproofing windows, forming an effective insulation lawyer against the cold. They are not ideal in warmer months, as they make it impossible to open and close the windows.

7. Window Coverings and Treatments

Window coverings are stylish drafty window solutions. Thick drapes and tight fitting blinds are energy-efficient window coverings that can block drafts and add a layer of insulation. In the summer, they also help block out the scorching rays of the sun. You can deal with drafty windows by using multiple window coverings together and by using them with other methods above for effectively weatherproofing your windows.

Learn More Energy Efficiency Tips With Constellation

As the frigid weather approaches, you will want to keep cold air from coming through your windows. Yet don’t stop with fixing drafty windows. We have other ways to improve home efficiency with a wealth of resources and winter energy saving tips that will keep you comfortable, help control your heating and cooling budget and possibly extend your HVAC lifespan, all without it being complicated or a big expense.

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