Window Drafts and Cold Air

Drafty windows don’t just lead to uncomfortably cold air sneaking into your home. They can also have a direct impact on your energy bills, causing you to increase the use of your heating to compensate for the cold draft. Whether your home is brand-new or vintage, you can be susceptible to drafts in a number of places around the home.

Learn more about why drafts occur and how to seal them with answers to the common questions below.

Why Is Cold Air Coming Through My Windows?

Drafts occur when there are gaps in the construction of your window, allowing cold air to come through. This opening is left unsealed to the outside, allowing your home’s warm air to leak out and cold air to enter from outside. This can lead to discomfort and poor heat conservation, increasing your energy bills.

Common reasons for this unsealed gap include window seal failure, poorly installed windows, and cracks or damage to your window caulk. Gaps can also be the result of old windows that warp or loosen over time. Mold buildup, rotted wood, and poor energy efficiency are also typical symptoms of a window draft.

How Can I Seal My Windows?

To stop drafts from occurring, you can try several different sealing strategies:

  1. Install weather stripping to help seal your windows.
  2. Apply sticky foam tape to poorly fitted or warped windows can also be an effective weather-proofing method.

Interior window film is another effective measure. Firmly apply this film in order to seal your windows for a fast fix. If damaged window caulk seems to be the culprit, you can purchase exterior caulking and re-caulk any old spots to help strengthen your windows against drafts.

How Do I Stop Drafty Windows in Winter?

During winter, drafts can become particularly uncomfortable and expensive. Try these fixes to stop cold drafty air in the winter:

  1. Locate the source of your draft by holding a candle or match to each window. Flickering flames will reveal if any air is coming through.
  2. Install interior storm windows to provide extra insulation until you can replace your windows entirely.
  3. Add heavy layered curtains to prevent cold air from sneaking through any cracks into your home.

Remember, insulation is one of the best ways to stay warm in the winter. If you haven’t already, try filling the space between your wall framing and window frame with spray-foam insulation. This cost-effective move can help seal your window and protect you from the cold.

How Do You Seal Windows for Summer?

Poorly sealed windows can affect your home’s energy efficiency in the summer months, causing cool air to escape and requiring your A/C to work more. Try these tips to better seal your windows in the summer:

  1. Apply reflective film over your windows to seal the air and reflect sunlight back out.
  2. Install insulated blackout blinds to keep your temperature cool and prevent hot air from entering from outside.

Further summer window weatherization methods can help keep your energy bills low. Try using V-strips, felt, or foam tape around your window sides and edges to seal any small gaps.

How to Fix Drafty Windows on a Budget?

If you can’t afford to replace your windows, try these budget fixes in the meantime:

  1. Apply clear shrink film to drafty windows using heat.
  2. Alternatively, stick bubble wrap to your windows using double-sided tape.
  3. Make your own window snakes using a fabric tube filled with dry rice, which you can lay against your poorly-sealed windowsill.

Another budget-friendly approach involves covering your window panes with a piece of foam board glued to thick drywall. Cut pieces to fit inside your window frame and press the foam side against the glass. This approach is not an ideal permanent measure, however, as it doesn’t allow any natural light in, but it will keep cold air out in a pinch.

How to Fix a Drafty Window Frame Quickly?

Temporary solutions can get you through a blustery winter or humid summer until you can properly replace your windows. Try these quick fixes:

  1. Place a draft stopper on your window sills to prevent drafts from sneaking in underneath your window.
  2. Install removable magnetic window insulation using magnetic tape to hold insulating vinyl cut-outs in place over your window.
  3. Use rope caulk to fill cracks or gaps inside your window cases.

It’s important to note these measures, while effective, only offer a temporary fix. Rope caulk, insulated window covers, and bubble wrap or plastic film covers may only stop drafts for a season. If you’re experiencing bothersome or costly draft issues, it’s time to look into a long-term solution.

How to Fix a Window Draft Permanently?

The best permanent solution to a draft is to replace your window entirely. Once it is worn, rotted, or rattling, your window is past its shelf life and it’s time for a new one. Hire a professional to install your new window to ensure a well-fitting, properly sealed, and long-lasting result.

If you’re positive your draft is the result of cracked, old, or missing putty sealant, your other long-term option is to replace and re-seal this glazing.

You can do this by removing any old putty, detaching the pane and adding a new coat of glazing. Carefully press the glass pane back into place and add metal glazing points to keep it secure. Once everything is where it should be, push these points into place and use a clean putty knife to smooth everything out.

Install Draft-Free Windows With Homespire Windows and Doors

Ready to rid your home of pesky drafts? Homespire Windows and Doors can help. With over 25 years of home improvement experience, our team installs premium, USA-made windows that come with a lifetime warranty.

Our expert technicians can install up to eight windows in a day, making for a quick turnaround time. Our windows are highly energy-efficient and can cut energy usage by up to 30%. With new windows in place, you can say goodbye to cold air drafts and the sound of wind whistling through any cracks.

To begin your window replacement process, contact Homespire today. Give us a call at 1-844-938-3832 to ask any questions — we’re always happy to help!