If wild summers make for wild winters, do mild winters make for mild summers? Let’s hope so! But before we get ahead of our seasons, we need to cross a few things of our lists. This week let’s focus on drafty windows and doors. Yes, it’s been a fairly mild winter. We’ve had an accumulation of maybe a few inches of snow on grassy areas. Fortunately, these relatively mild temperatures have cut our heating bills down compared to years prior. On the other hand we’ve probably let those drafty windows and doors slide longer than usual. Well wait no more, unless you want to watch 5-30% of your heating and cooling dollars fly right through those cracks. Here are some problem areas to watch for:
- Window and door frames
- Electrical outlets
- Weather stripping
- Attic hatches
- Window-mounted air conditioners
I have a cold air leak at my front door. The air is pouring in so heavy that if you get close enough it sounds like a wind tunnel. In fact, it is a wind tunnel! The area below the bottom hinge of our front door acts as a funnel for cold air. Go to those problem areas listed above and look for these clues:
- Run your hand along a window frame. If you feel cold air rushing in you have a leak. Of course the window itself will be cold, but if you can feel a breeze, or, like in my case, hurricane force winds flowing in, then the area certainly needs attention.
- You can use the same simple technique for electrical outlets, attic hatches, and window-mounted air conditioners.
- Examine the weather stripping around doors that lead outside or into the garage. If it is cracked or torn, it most likely needs replacing.
- Do you see condensation forming on your windows or in between the panes? Then it might be time for new windows. Now I’m not talking about a little bit of fog or moisture due to a temperature fluctuation between the inside and outside. But if you see moisture dripping down your windows and onto your walls, furniture, or flooring, or condensation in between your window panes that is disrupting your view of the outdoors, then you need to take action.
Once you gather a list of all the attention-bearing areas in your home, it’s time to get to work. Most of these fixes are inexpensive, simple, and not time consuming in the least. However, if you need new windows or doors, or have severe issues with the framing around your windows and doors, then you may want to ask our contractor. Otherwise, try these solutions:
- Replace the weather stripping around windows and doors.
- Make a draft snake for under your door. This is a fun weekend project to enjoy with the kids!
- Caulk cracks, gaps, and joints around window and door frames.
We are here to help.
- Our contractor is standing by to answer your questions. Or simply include your questions in the comments section after this article. Then look for the answer on our blog the following week. All questions are anonymous unless you specify otherwise.
- Check out our handy-dandy Air Leaks Checklist. It’s easy to use and free! Drafty Window/Doors Checklist
- For more tips on how to keep your home air tight, visit the resources below: