Did you know? Drafty windows aren’t only a problem in the wintertime. Drafty windows can make your home less energy efficient year-round! In reality, drafty windows can let your expensive air conditioning escape to the outdoors in the summer just as easily as they can let in frigid winds during the winter months.
First, let’s define a draft. A draft is caused by air that can sneak into your home through unwanted places, like a cracked window frame, an attic window that’s not weatherproofed, or a single-pane window. If your doors and windows are locked tight and you can still feel a breeze coming from somewhere, there’s most likely a draft.
What causes drafts?
Fixing drafty windows doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming – and you don’t always have to replace a window to get rid of a draft! While there’s no solution like replacing your windows altogether, there are a few things you can do to make drafts a little more bearable. Straight from our Rolox Home Service experts, here are some tips to keep drafty windows from increasing your utility bill.
If a draft is coming in because your window doesn’t close tightly enough, weatherstripping might help. You can apply this foam insulation tape to the top and bottom of any window to tighten the seal around your window and keep the air where you want it to stay.
Weatherstripping tape is self-adhesive, so it’s relatively quick and easy to apply. It’s also an inexpensive option to make your home more energy efficient. However, because the foam inside of the tape will eventually break down, weatherstripping needs to be redone every couple of years. It’s not a permanent solution, and if the drafts are significant, your best bet is to replace your windows.
Window Insulation Kits
Similar to weatherstrips, this solution begins by placing tape around the full perimeter of the window frame and the window sill. However, rather than containing foam, this double-sided tape is used to seal clear shrink film over every inch of your window. After it’s taped in place, you can use a hair dryer to shrink the material, eliminate any wrinkles, and ultimately end up with one more layer of protection for your drafty window!
This fix is most commonly used to keep cold air outside in winter since it does have to be removed before the window can be opened again for the summer months. Keep in mind that this solution is visible to anyone walking by, so it is not the most attractive option. It’s also not permanent. So if you are frustrated by all the work window insulation kits take, consider replacing old windows with an energy-efficient option.
If you’ve noticed any gaps around the edges of your windows, the solution may be as simple as buying a roll of rope caulk! This product can be pushed into any visible cracks without needing any fancy tools, making it a very DIY-friendly solution.
If you choose this option to fix your draft windows, keep in mind that visible gaps around a window can be a sign that the window wasn’t installed properly in the first place. In this situation, keep an eye out for any other concerns as the seasons continue to put your window through its paces, and start making a plan to purchase new windows.
This may be the best option if your window draft is barely noticeable. However, depending on the curtain brand – or type of alternative window covering – that you choose, window treatments like thick curtains can get pretty pricey.
If you choose this route, follow these two steps to help the curtain be most effective in improving your home’s energy efficiency. First, be sure to hang the curtains as close to the window as possible in order to keep that drafty air contained. Additionally, choose a length that reaches all the way to the windowsill or to the floor; otherwise, the drafty air will be able to escape right out of the bottom!
If you’re in an older home and you have single-pane windows, it is an option to replace them with double-pane windows in order to improve their overall energy efficiency. This, however, is a very expensive option. A good alternative is to purchase storm windows instead: they’re able to reduce window drafts and cost about 65% less than new double-pane windows.
Once you choose this option, you will need to also decide if you want to add interior or exterior storm windows. If you want to buy interior storm windows (also known as window inserts), you can install and remove them throughout the year. If you want to buy exterior storm windows, they add another layer of protection to keep your windows safe from the elements, but because they are a permanent installation, you’ll want to call a professional.
Let’s Fix Your Drafty Windows
These do-it-yourself fixes may help temporarily. But the best solution for drafty windows is to replace them with new, energy-efficient windows — and the experts on the Rolox Home Service team are always available to help!
If you find that these solutions aren’t significant enough to improve the draft coming through a cracked pane or a warped window frame, reach out to the Rolox team to learn more about the affordable window installations that we offer. You deserve to have a well-protected, energy efficient home, and we want to help make that happen!