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Does Your Home Suffer From Leaky Windows?

Jun 13, 2012

While the thought of living in a home without windows is not only depressing but also impractical, the fact of the matter is that your windows may be costing you a lot of money if they’re not properly sealed to keep air from escaping.

Around 20 percent of your home’s energy loss is a result of windows that allow warm or cool air to be exchanged with the outside. According to ENERGY STAR, you can save up to 20 per cent of your total annual heating and cooling costs by ensuring your windows are properly sealed.

But how do you know if your house suffers from leaky windows?

  • Feel for a draft: This is the simplest way to determine if you have a window that leaks. If you feel a draft or a cool spot near a window, bingo! You’ve got a leak.
  • Look for moisture: If you have moisture build-up around a windowsill or on the glass itself, this is a sure sign that warm and cool air are meeting.
  • Request an energy audit: A certified RESNET Home Energy Auditor will do an energy assessment of your home to determine where leaks are present and advise you on the best methods of sealing them.

Once you’ve determined that your windows are not working to provide an energy efficient seal around your house, you have several options that will stop or reduce leaks.

  • Add weather stripping: This is the fastest and easiest way to seal leaks around windows. Properly applied weather stripping or caulking will prevent the exchange of air.
  • Storm windows: Installing storm windows will create a second barrier against the elements and prevent both the exchange of air and moisture from leaking into window frames.
  • Replacement windows: This the most expensive option – but one that will pay for itself through reduced home heating and cooling costs. Many older homes will benefit from window replacements and even newer homes that are over ten years old can be updated to increase the efficiency of the dwelling’s thermal barrier.
  • Select ENERGY STAR rated windows that are designed to create a seal to eliminate drafts and air exchange.

Contact a certified RESNET Home Energy Auditor to carry out an energy assessment for you. They can advise you on where your house is losing energy and what the most cost effective ways are to rectify the situation, and thereby make your home more comfortable while reducing your energy costs.