Indoor drafts near your windows are a sure sign there are gaps surrounding your frames that are letting outdoor air inside and disrupting your home’s comfort level. Your home’s indoor temperature should be consistent throughout, particularly each winter when you’re investing so much in heating your home. If there are gaps around your windows that cause energy efficiency to plummet, you can seal them yourself and gain control over your indoor temperatures again.
Read on to learn how you can help avoid energy loss by sealing the gaps that surround your windows.
How to Seal the Leaky Areas Around Your Windows
If you suspect there are gaps around your windows, hold an incense stick near their frames. If the smoke is drawn toward your windows, you have an air leak to seal. If smoke is drawn upward, you don’t.
The average home loses up to 30% of heating and cooling through air leaks. The money being invested in heat and air conditioning is literally going “right out the window.” And while conditioned air flows out, other things flow into your home through the gaps around your windows. Air contaminants sneak in through tiny cracks and permeate your home.
The two most common places your house leaks air are through your doors and windows. The good news is that this is a simple problem to solve. Start by sealing the gaps surrounding your windows. Here’s how:
1. Removable Caulk
If you have cracks and gaps around your windows that are up to one-fourth of an inch wide, you can purchase a caulk gun and squeeze a bead of this common sealant into the cracks. This clear, rubbery substance will stay intact until you remove it to reapply it next spring.
An economical solution to window leaks, one tube of caulk covers up to 56 feet of use. The downside to caulk is that it may only provide a temporary solution to your window leaks. It works well for a couple of years and then typically cracks or deteriorates and needs to be replaced. If you caulk your windows every two years, it may be a sign that the time for window replacement is drawing near.
2. Rope Caulk
Available in brown or gray, this clay-like ribbon can be peeled off in increments that are from one-eighth of an inch thick to an inch thick. Fill the gap around your window by pressing the clay into place. This reusable solution doesn’t leave a residue and offers a cost-effective answer to your window leaks.
3. Foam Backer Rods
These polyethylene rods come in a variety of diameters, beginning at three-eighths of an inch. They are not sticky and can simply be pressed into place, filling the gap around your window. This reusable solution offers a great way to extend the life of your windows and keep your home warm and cozy each winter.
4. Bronze Weather Stripping
An enduring answer to air leaks around windows, this option requires you to use a hammer and copper nails to install it. Bronze weather stripping lasts for decades and is pricier than other options, but delivers fabulous results to your dilemma.
5. Adhesive-Backed EPDM Rubber
This practical solution to gaps around your windows is a cost-effective way to stop drafts from flowing into your home, bolstering your house’s energy efficiency. It doesn’t last as long as bronze weather-stripping, but it can last ten years or more, and is easy to install.
Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer rubber (EPDM) is a synthetic compound used as a sealant for car doors and windows. It’s an effective and accessible answer with a pleasing price point, making it a popular choice among homeowners. This solution for air leakage around your windows can be purchased for approximately $8 for ten feet.
6. Pulley Seals
These specially made seals block the air that tries to seep in near your window cords. Air leakage can stem from the pulley system that facilitates the movement of double-hung windows. Pulley seals should be used in conjunction with other products above meant to close the gap around your windows to bring year-round comfort back into your home interior.
Practical Temporary Resolutions to Window Leaks
If you know your windows leak, have done all you know to do to plug the gaps, but still need more help fortifying your interior from outside air, here are some simple tips:
Get Insulated Curtains
Heavy fabric, layered curtains, or curtains with thermal properties can also help keep cold air from seeping into your home interior this winter.
Try a Draft Stopper
This heavy-duty fabric tube loaded with sand is made to be placed at the bottom of your window to decrease the airflow from the outdoors into your home. It not only blocks the cold but also reduces noise infiltration.
Enjoy Energy Savings by Sealing Window Gaps
Now that you’ve discovered some simple ways to eliminate air from flowing indoors through gaps in your windows, take a moment to inspect your own windows. If they are leaking, decide which solution fits your situation best and implement it today.
The longer air leaks through gaps around your windows, the more you pay for energy. So get those leaks plugged promptly, and while you’re at it, take a look at how GIANT’s window services can increase your home’s energy efficiency and maximize its beauty with a permanent solution to drafts—replacement windows.