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How to Seal Windows

Oct 16, 2012

You can’t have a house without any windows now, can you? What would be the point? No sunlight, no great views or even a way to see what the weather’s like outside. Living in a home without windows is not a practical idea, which is why you really don’t see any. However, those same windows that let in so much light can also be letting cold air in and warm air out during winter, or vice-versa in summer. And when you have this kind of an air exchange going on, you’re paying for it through your heating and cooling bills.

Windows are a major reason for heat loss and also one of the easiest fixes when it comes to sealing your home. The trick is to make sure you seal windows properly to prevent major air leakage from taking place.

How do you know if you have leaky windows?

Start with a simple test. Run your hand along a window frame and feel for a draft. If you can actually feel one, then you have a serious leak. Other indicators include condensation building up on the inside of a window or older frames that may have warped with age.

But don’t worry! If you need to seal windows, that doesn’t mean you will have close them up with bricks and mortar! It just means you will have to plug those leaks.

How to seal windows:

Apply weather stripping. It’s easy and affordable and you can find all different types at any home building center or hardware store. This is the home handyman’s easy weekend job.

Plug holes with caulking. This is also a simple and effective means of sealing areas around a window frame. Caulking is soft and pliable when it comes out of the tube so it molds into cracks and openings easily. When it dries you’ve got an airtight seal.

Install storm windows. These provide an extra barrier against the elements. They come in a variety of styles and range from inexpensive indoor/outdoor units to more expensive models depending on your taste. Using storm windows is a great way to seal windows.

Replace those old windows. If you bought a 50-year-old home for its rustic charm and large lot, you might want to take a look and see if your window frames are also half a century old. If they are, you’ve probably got a good case for window replacement.

If you still aren’t sure if you need to seal windows, contact a certified RESNET auditor or rater who will give you an honest appraisal of what you need to do to stop those leaks.