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How to Check for Drafty Windows in Your Home

There are many things you can do to make your home more energy efficient. Installing an energy efficient HVAC system and appliances are just a few of those. But sometimes it’s the smaller items in the home that can really cost you in terms of energy usage. One of those problems is with drafty windows. A single window that has a draft can cut your heating efficiency by as much as 25%. Imagine if you have a few of these drafty windows in your home what the energy costs alone would be. I’ll teach you how to tell if a window is drafty and what you can do about it in this article.

How to Check for Drafty Windows in Your Home

When a window lets in a draft you can usually feel it especially in colder temperatures. It may be just a slight breeze that feels a bit cooler but that slight breeze could be a huge wind on your energy bill. If you have rooms in your home where you have experienced this it’s a good idea to make sure you check those rooms for drafty windows because they probably are drafty.

What a Drafty Window Can Do To Your Energy Bill

One reason people check for drafty windows is to make their home more energy efficient. By keeping your home better insulated you can drive the energy costs of your home down because the heating and cooling system will be under less stress. It can also make rooms where there are huge drafts much more comfortable. This is one home improvement project that can pay off later.

Using a candle to Check the Window Draft

To begin checking a window for a draft you’ll first need to remove the blind, shade, or any curtains that are placed on the window. This will allow you better access to see the window and notice anything that doesn’t look right. We’ll also be using a candle to check for drafts so keep anything flammable back and out of the way. It’s also a good idea to do this test when its a bit windy outside. Calm wind will make it more difficult to detect any drafts. You’ll also need to turn off any fans or HVAC units in the home.

To begin checking a window for a draft you’ll first need
to remove the blind, shade, or any curtains that are placed on the window.

The first step is to visually inspect the window. Look for cracks in the glass, sash, and frame. Sometimes the glass will fall leaving gaps between the glass and frame. Make sure you check those areas. Now you’re ready to light the candle and hold it up to the window. Move the flame of the candle a few inches from the window and move it along areas around the frame. Do this until you’ll checked the entire window. If there is a draft the flame on the candle will flicker and if the draft is large enough the flame will go out.

Carefully go over each window to determine where your windows have a draft at. Make sure you mark or otherwise remember where the problem areas were at so you can go back and fix them later. Once you’ve found a draft with the flame you can determine what your next steps and how you’re going to repair it.

Repair Draft in Home Window


What Happens if You Find a Draft?

Sometimes windows can be repaired by just adding a bit of caulking around the window. However you’ll want to make sure that the window itself is not damaged or else you’ll just be adding caulk on a window that is damaged and the draft will come back. On older windows you can also replace the glazing if that is the problem. However, one thing you’ll need to consider if you home has single pane windows is replacing them with energy efficient windows. The energy savings you’ll get from replacing single pane windows with double pane windows will make the drafty window irrelevant.

Should You Replace the Window?

For problems with the window such as with single pane windows it may be a good idea to replace the window. You may also be able to get the sash replaced at a much cheaper cost. For home owners in the Grand Rapids Michigan area be sure to contact Grand Rapids Home Pros for details on getting newer energy efficient windows installed and also window repair in Grand Rapids Michigan.

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