What Causes Drafty Windows and How to Avoid Them

A functioning window is one that’s able to open and allow fresh air to pass in and out of a room. A window allows for ventilation as well as natural light to get into the room, helping to make it look bigger and more beautiful. Windows also help to add to the visual appeal of a room since you can style them in a number of ways with décor ideas and window treatments.

They also add the curb appeal of your home by breaking up the exterior in a visually pleasing way. But what should you do if your windows seem to be drafty? Read on for some ideas on what causes drafty windows and the actions you can take to prevent it.

drafty windows

What Causes a Window to be Sealed?

If you want to figure out what is causing your window to be drafty, you first need to understand what prevents a window from being drafty. After all, a window is just one or several panes of glass that separate your home from the outside elements.

Traditionally, windows were single pane, which helped to keep out cold air in the winter and warm air in the summer from entering the home, but they aren’t nearly as energy efficient as most people would want their windows to be.

Nowadays, what has become much more popular is to have double pane or triple pane glass. This means that multiple layers of glass are within the window frame. Most of these windows will the have a gas that’s placed between the panes.

The gas is usually harmless and non-toxic, such as argon gas which naturally exists outside, so it’s not dangerous to breathe in in the event that the gas would escape.  The gas is meant to keep air from coming in between the panes, thus contributing to the energy efficiency of the window.

The way that the gas stays in between those panes is by having an inner and outer seal that lines the outside of the panes, keeping them airtight. When the sealant that keeps this gas in between the panes fails, it means that the gas is slowly starting to leak, and your window panes will not be as proficient in keeping the cold air out.

This could, in turn, result in a drafty window. To know if this is the case, look for the fog that accumulates on the glass and is hard to wipe away. Eventually, the fog will get to be so bad that it will get increasingly difficult to wipe it away.

You may also notice moisture that’s getting in between the panes from a poor seal. You may also notice that the glass becomes distorted. To notice a distortion, you may have to stand a bit at a distance and look at the window in comparison to other windows.

To prevent seal failure, you’ll want to make sure to get the services of a trained professional. Window seal installation issues can cause failure if they aren’t installed correctly. Sometimes the problem can be that the seals were not shipped and transported properly, and a breakage or weakening occurred while they were in transport.

If that’s the case, your experienced installer may be able to notice damage before installing them. Be sure to check with the manufacturers’ warranty if you think that’s the case. It’s truly important to get the help of a reputable window installer so that you can avoid these installation problems that can occur with windows.

window condensation

Warped Frames

Another possible cause for drafts is that the frame has become warped. This is particularly common with wooden framed windows. Wood has a tendency to be highly sensitive to temperature changes. When it’s hot out, the wood may expand, and when it’s cold again, it will contract.

This constant change in the wood eventually leads to warping. If you have wooden window frames, take a look at how they are every month or so, especially on cold winter and hot summer days. If you notice any signs of warping, you’ll want to get the frame fixed so that you can make sure the window does not become too drafty, causing your bills to skyrocket.

Extreme Moisture and Precipitation

Another cause of drafty windows and a general reason for seal failure is when you live in an area with a ton of moisture. If it snows and rains for parts of your winter, you may be more susceptible to have drafty windows.

The moisture can sometimes make its way into the seals, especially if the frames have any cracks or are warped. If it’s the case that you live in one of these areas, you may want to invest in some weather-strip sealant for the windows. You can easily purchase weatherstripping at your local hardware store.

Do a Regular Walkthrough

new windows in the living room

One of the best ways to prevent issues with your home is to walk around the exterior of your home on a regular basis to check the status of your windows. Taking a look around the perimeter and checking that the windows are in good shape can save you problems down the road. Look for cracked wood or problems with the frames. You can also check for distortion that can come from window seal failure.

Having a drafty window is never pleasant for homeowners. It usually means that energy bills will be unpleasantly high. In addition, a window that has a draft problem means that the room where the window is located may be uncomfortable if cold air is coming in.

There are simple prevention methods that you can take to avoid a draft. Take the time to inspect your home on a consistent basis, looking for potential problems. Inspect your window frames, taking the time to look for warping or damaged frames. If you live in an area with extreme temperature fluctuations and moisture, this is even more important.

Finally, always get the help of an experienced window installer who can make sure that your window seals work perfectly. These measures can help you to avoid time and money from being wasted, and keep your windows in good working condition.

Fix It with a Replacement

As you probably learned, drafty windows are caused by a fracture inside the glass panes. As a result, you lose out on insulation and energy efficiency. At Feldco Springfield, we manufacture windows with durable vinyl that’s guaranteed to last for a long time.

That’s why over 350,000 customers are delighted with our service because we deliver on the promise to manufacture great products locally. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote today.

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