7 Effective Ways to Draft-Proof Your Windows

In this article, you will learn:
1. How to Search for Air Leaks in Residential Windows
2. 7 Effective Ways to Draft-Proof Your Windows

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Draft-proofing your home is one of the cheapest and most energy-efficient ways to save money on home expenses.

While your residential windows should provide a healthy balance between functionality, style and efficiency – it is not uncommon for air leaks to cause inconsistent room temperatures, increased energy bills and sometimes even allow insects to invade your personal space.

From new construction builds to century-old estates, drafty windows are a common problem for many Canadian homeowners and can often be explained by improper installation or small cracks/gaps to the window structure.

At Simpson Windows and Doors, we pride ourselves on customer education to help our clients get the most out of their windows and doors.

As draft-proofing your home can help save more than 20% on your heating and cooling bills, the following article will teach you how to search for air leaks, along with 7 effective ways to draft-proof your windows:

How to Search for Air Leaks in Residential Windows

While many Canadian homeowners can immediately identify the draftiest room in their home, not all of them can explain why.

If you are trying to locate the source of an air leak, there are a variety of simple DIY-methods you can try:

A. Visual Inspection Method: The visual inspection method is a quick and easy way to identify any obvious damage to your windows.Take some time to carefully inspect your windows for any gapping, cracking, mold or deterioration.

B. Hand Method: While this method is most effective during windier days, hovering your palm over the various parts of your window can often identify the presence of air leakage. If you can feel any air passing through to the inside of your home, there is likely damage to repair.

C. Flashlight Method: With the help of a friend or family member, shining a flashlight along the edges of your window may help you identify small cracks and/or gaps. While this method is most effective during the night, the passing through of any light can help source the problem.

D. Candle/Smoke Method: After turning off your central heating system to avoid the movement of indoor air, try lighting a candle or stick of incense to help identify any air leakage from your windows. By passing it near any potential leaks, the movements of the flame or smoke should help you identify any air leakage.

E. Hire a Reliable Contractor: While this option is not a DIY-method, a reliable contractor can not only help you accurately identify the problem, but also offer a solution that will best satisfy your property’s needs as well as your budget.

In order to maintain a comfortable, energy-efficient and cost-effective home, it is important that homeowners learn the warning signs and know how to best protect their properties long-term.

While temperature inconsistencies, unwanted pests and skyrocketing energy bills are often clear indicators that your windows could use some improvement, here are 7 easy ways to draft-proof your windows (with every skill set in mind):

7 Easy Ways to Draft-Proof Your Windows

1. Weatherstripping
Difficulty Level: Easy

Weatherstripping is an easy and inexpensive way to seal air leaks from the windows and doors of your home.

Available in three main types, homeowners can choose from compression weatherstripping (which is the most durable for window sashes), v-type weatherstripping (which forms a seal to prevent cold air from entering) or foam weatherstripping (which comes with an adhesive backing on one side).

While this simple and straightforward DIY project is very easy to apply, it is important to note that it generally only lasts for 1-3 years.

2. Window Film/Heat-Shrink Window Coverings:
Difficulty Level: Easy

An excellent solution to draft-proofing your windows is to apply a heat-shrink window covering over your windows and frames.

Also referred to as shrink-to-fit plastic wrap or window film, these window coverings are effective, inexpensive and easy-to-install requiring no more than a blow-dryer to set it in place.

With an appearance comparable to saran wrap, this DIY solution can provide huge improvements to insulating your home (especially during the colder Canadian months).

3. Re-Caulking
Difficulty Level: Easy

Although window caulking often serves as the first line of defense against air leakage, the soft material is also known to wear down over time.

In the case of small gaps and/or cracks in your window caulking, it may be handy to keep a tube of replacement caulking for the occasional window maintenance repair.

Affordable and easy-to-use, re-caulking your window can not only prevent air from entering or escaping your home, but it can also increase interior comfort levels and lower your overall energy-expenses!

4. Foam Tape
Difficulty Level: Easy

Sticky foam tape provides an excellent weather-proofing alternative for warped and/or uneven air leaks.

Adaptable to any size, foam tape secures the leak from allowing air to pass through, helping the home retain comfortable, even temperatures and not overwork your AC.

With an easy cut-and-stick approach, this temporary solution is affordable and easy-to-apply.

5. Thermal/Insulated Curtains
Difficulty Level: Easy

While window replacements can sometimes be out of budget, many Canadian homeowners have opted for thermal curtains to help retain heat during the winter months and/or keep out the heat from the summer sun.

Quick and easy-to-install, the biggest drawback is that these curtains must be closed for them to block and prevent air leakage.

While this might not be suitable for homeowners who enjoy an abundance of sunshine, it does provide an effective solution for those who don’t mind.

6. Draft Stopper/Door Snake:
Difficulty Level: Easy

For homeowners with draft problems coming from the base of their windows, draft stoppers make a cheap and easy solution!

Also referred to as ‘door snakes,’ draft stoppers can either be purchased from your local hardware store or created at home with some socks, linens, towels and creativity.

By creating your own, you can also customize the size and colours to fit in perfectly with the shape of your window and overall room decor.

7. Energy-Efficient Window Replacements:
Difficulty Level: Hard/Professional:

While window replacements might not be the easiest or most affordable option on the table, replacing your inefficient windows with updated ENERGY STAR-rated windows can do a great deal for your home.

From improving energy-efficiency and in-home comfort to decreasing energy expenses and improving your overall property value – replacing your windows will not only solve your drafty windows today, but it will provide many long-term benefits well into the future.

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If you are interested in learning more about your window replacement options, allow our trained professionals at Simpson Windows and Doors to help!

Click here or call us at 905-853-2519 for a complimentary consultation.

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