Will Your Windows Help Keep Out The Cold?

Buffalo natives are no strangers to cold weather. More than that: we know that the cold will come much sooner than we could expect, and will last much longer than we would like. While the cold won’t catch you off guard, a sudden chill inside your home might. One of the most common causes of winter drafts are windows that are old, poorly fit, or damaged. Luckily, there are a number of possible solutions you can try before committing to replacing those drafty windows.

Find the source of the draft

If you feel a draft, the first step is to inspect your windows, inside and out. Check for gaps between the window and frame, old caulking that is damaged, or worn weatherstripping. While some openings are easy to notice, even a minor hole can result in severe home cooling in the winter. 

If you believe that there is damage you can’t see, close the window, light a candle, and place the flame near each window. Move the candle slowly and carefully, keeping the flame inches away from the glass. As you move, pause next to each window. If the flame of the candle flickers constantly, there is likely an air leak.

Sealing the draft

Once you have found the source of the draft, it’s time to seal it! But what is the most effective way to seal up an air leak? Depending on your budget, there are a number of possible options available.

  • Insulation Film - This is an easy fix to winter drafts and one that does not require a great deal of precision, so long as you know roughly where the leak is. Place a piece of insulation film over the entire window, and smoothen out any wrinkles with a hairdryer. This will create a buffer zone between your window and your home that should trap the warm air in your home. The downside to this method is that you will not be able to open the window again without reapplying the insulation film, so make sure that you will not need to open the window for the season.
  • Weatherstripping - Weatherstripping is cheap and easy to apply, without the requirements of extra tools or material. Choose any of the types of weatherstripping (felt, foam, or plastic) from your local hardware store, then cut the material to size the gaps you encounter in the window frames.
  • Caulking - Tubes of caulk are inexpensive and do not require expert skills to use successfully. Begin applying the caulk where the window meets its casing, and where that casing meets the wall. If you have already applied caulking in the past, check this for deterioration, as this can break down over time.

When to Replace The Window 

Unfortunately, while these solutions can be effective, most will deteriorate rapidly, or will only serve for one season. If you start to notice the draft becoming worse, or if you are able to afford a replacement window, we would advise replacing the window as soon as possible, as this will ultimately save you money as you won’t have to purchase new material to seal the leaks every season.

Stockmohr is proud to provide efficient windows from ProVia and Polaris, both being recognized as Most Efficient of 2019 by ENERGY STAR®.  If you find a draft in your home and want a free window estimate -- give us a call! Our work is guaranteed, so you can say goodbye to drafts for good.