Now that summer’s here, it’d be a good idea to check your windows for leaks that could be letting conditioned air escape and increasing your electricity bill. Don’t underestimate how much cool air is lost through drafty windows—windows for 25%–30% of residential heating and cooling energy use, according to the Department of Energy. This figure is expected to increase if you have drafty windows.
How can you tell if your windows have leaks and how do you fix them?
The Warning Signs
Common signs include:
• Rattling noises – Over time, the glazing putty that’s responsible for holding your windows’ glass panes in place becomes brittle. As a consequence, the glass panes become loose and may produce rattling sounds whenever they’re hit by strong winds.
• Gaps between the wall and window frame – Gaps between the wall and window frame are usually caused by installation errors. However, gaps can still form even if your windows were properly installed. That’s because certain frames, particularly wooden frames, expand and contract as temperatures rise and fall, potentially shifting window panes and forming gaps. That’s why it’s important to choose a window frame material that’s suited to your area’s climate. If you’re planning a window replacement, Fibrex® is a durable wood-and-vinyl composite that doesn’t expand or contract even when exposed to extreme temperatures, making it an ideal material for those living in temperate climates.
• Foggy glass – The space between the two panes of insulated windows is filled with either argon or krypton, colorless gases that can prevent heat transfer. However, if the glass sealing is punctured, moisture can enter this space, fogging up the window glass.
Should You Repair or Replace Drafty Windows?
Should you have drafty windows repaired or have them replaced altogether? Most contractors would recommend replacing damaged insulated windows with new windows. That’s because repairs can only plug the leaks, not restore the window’s energy-efficiency. Since some of the argon and krypton escaped, a repaired insulated window will always have lower energy-efficiency.
Need new windows?
Renewal by Andersen® of Long Island offers a wide variety of specialty windows. As part of our Signature Service, we customize each window according to our customers’ needs. To schedule a free consultation with one of our design experts, call us at (631) 843-1713 or fill out this form. We serve homeowners in Huntington, New York, as well as the surrounding communities.