Staying Draft-Free This Winter

Living in Western New York during the winter can prove to be a challenge. With intense snowfall, freezing temps and icy roads… there’s a lot of maintenance to keep up with. As a homeowner, this means you’ll be removing snow and managing ice to make sure your property is safe. Once you’ve made a clear path to your home, what happens when there’s a draft inside? Finding and fixing drafty windows or doors will not only improve the comfort level of your home, it’ll save you a ton of money on energy bills.

Finding the source.

If you feel a noticeable draft in your home, there’s a few do-it-yourself methods to finding the source. The first step is to inspect the interior and exterior of your home. Search for old caulking that needs replacing, gaps between the window or door frame and your home’s siding, as well as worn weatherstripping around windows and doors. Some openings will be easy to spot or feel, whereas some may need further investigation. If this is the case, close all the windows and doors, light a candle and place the flame near each window. Carefully move the candle along the window frame, inches away from the glass. While doing this, pause your hand with the candle and if the flame flickers while you are still, there’s likely an air leak. 

Finding an air leak with the flame of a candle may seem like a weird thing to do. It’s worth a try when it comes to saving on heating bills! If you prefer a more accurate inspection, you can call in a professional to perform an energy audit. It may not be free, but your local utility company will conduct a full assessment of your home’s energy efficiency room-by-room. 

Sealing the air leak.

Once you discover where the window/door drafts in your home are, there’s a few options to address the problem. Some methods may be temporary, but depending on your budget, you can likely make it work with one of these fixes:

  • Caulking:  Tubes of caulk are usually inexpensive and won’t take an expert to learn how to use. Caulk where the window meets the casing, and where the casing meets the surrounding wall or material, depending on if you’re inside or outside (you want to caulk both). If you’ve already caulked your windows in the past, check for deterioration -- it may be time to redo it!
  • Weatherstripping: Like caulk, weatherstripping is easy and affordable. Take a trip to the hardware store and pick up felt, foam, plastic -- your choice -- then cut the material to size and fill in window or door frame gaps.
  • Insulation Film:   An easy fix to winter drafts, place insulation film over windows that aren’t going to be in use for the season. Insulation film takes minutes to apply and you can smoothen out wrinkles with a hair dryer. The downside to this method is that the windows cannot be opened unless you wish to re-apply the insulation film. 

Replacing the problem

Sealing leaks with caulk or weatherstripping will improve the comfort level in your home. Yet, drafty windows and doors will persist each season until you solve the problem. The cost of replacement windows may seem like it won’t fit your budget, but ENERGY STAR® qualified windows and doors can lower your energy bills by up to $600 a year (depending on where you live). With energy savings each month, a new door or set of windows may not seem like such a drastic upgrade. At Stockmohr, we believe in providing our customers with the best. Our window and door installation options are ENERGY STAR®-rated and ensure a durable, energy efficient performance.

Both recognized as Most Efficient of ENERGY STAR® 2017, ProVia and Polaris are two brands that we’re proud to offer to our customers in Western New York. If you find a draft in your home and want a free window our door estimate -- give us a call! Our work is guaranteed, so you can say goodbye to drafts for good.