Do you keep your home warm and cozy during the fall and winter? If so, you may be baffled when you walk past certain spots in your home—only to experience a cold breeze that sends chills down your spine.
Drafty windows might be to blame for “cold zones” in your home, and they can cause a host of other problems, like costly energy bills, foggy windowpanes, and moisture leaks. It’s critical to identify the cause of your drafty windows as soon as possible, so you can work with an experienced window contractor to determine the best solution.
6 Common Reasons for Drafty Windows
Windows can develop drafts for various reasons—including age, maintenance, and weather. These are just a few of the most common reasons for drafty windows:
1. Improper Installation
If your windows weren’t initially installed by a professional (or were a “do-it-yourself” project), you’re much more likely to encounter drafty windows.
For instance, a trained professional would know your windows must fit perfectly in your frames to eliminate drafts—but an inexperienced (or negligent) installer may assume a few small gaps are normal. Another common window installation mistake is failing to seal the entire window. Both these errors can cause draftiness.
2. Inadequate Maintenance
Though it may be a hassle, it’s not difficult to take care of your windows. However, if you neglect regular maintenance tasks, like cleaning your frames and windowpanes, your windows are more likely to develop drafts.
For example, if your weatherstripping is made from rubber, it may be prone to growing mold, mildew, and fungus. When the growths aren’t removed, they may multiply and eat away at (and deform) your window’s weatherstripping, which can result in uncomfortable drafts.
3. Old Windows
Old windows are more likely to experience drafts than newer windows. Older frames made with less efficient materials, like wood or aluminum, may experience cracking, warping, and general “wear and tear” from the weather, leading to draftiness.
Additionally, many windows in historic homes are only single-pane windows, which aren’t nearly as efficient as double-pane or triple-pane windows. Often, upgrading your old windows is the best way to eliminate drafts—and will offer other benefits too, like boosted curb appeal, higher resale value, and noise reduction.
4. Cracked Caulking
Caulk is applied to your frames where the windows meet the siding. It’s designed to create a weathertight seal when it dries, which blocks outdoor air from leaving or entering your home.
Unfortunately, caulk doesn’t last forever and can crack, chip, or break due to expanding or contracting from temperature fluctuations. If you don’t reapply caulk frequently enough, these exposed spots between your siding and windows can allow drafts to enter your home. The gaps can also cause other problems, like moisture intrusion and pest infestation.
5. Faulty Seals
Insulated glass window systems (IGUs) are made of several panes of glass separated by dense gases, like argon and krypton. Typically, these windows offer superior energy efficiency and are great at preventing drafts—until they experience seal failure.
Seal failure can happen due to normal aging, faulty installation, poor-quality materials, extreme weather, or mold growth. Broken seals allow the insulating gases between your windowpanes to leak out and invite outdoor air to fill its place. The only way to completely fix broken seals (since the gases have already leaked out) is with a window replacement.
6. Intense Weather
Homes in continental climates, like Kansas City, are more prone to developing window drafts from weather-related issues, like rain, snow, and temperature changes.
For example, drastic temperature fluctuations can cause your windows to expand (in warm weather) and contract (in cold weather). If your windows are made from a low-quality material that contracts severely enough, cold breezes may enter through the small gaps created between your panes and frames, causing uncomfortable drafts.
Window Replacement: Reliable Solution for Drafty Windows
There are dozens of “quick fixes” for drafty windows. You can install a draft stopper, wrap your windows with plastic, apply caulking or weatherstripping, or reglaze your windowpanes. However, these solutions are all temporary and will likely need to be addressed again next winter, which can be a waste of your time and money.
Instead, the best way to fix drafty windows (for good!) is by replacing your old windows with an energy-efficient alternative from an experienced contractor. For long-lasting performance and the best results, consider installing a double-pane or triple-pane window system with an insulating frame, like vinyl or fiberglass.
Eliminate Drafts from Your Kansas City Home with New Windows from StateLine Exteriors
If you’re noticing drafty windows in your home, it’s important to address the problem as soon as possible. Not only will you be more comfortable in your home, but you’ll eliminate costly issues, like sky-high utility bills and moisture leaks, when the weather becomes more unpredictable.
If you’d like to forgo temporary fixes and invest in a window solution that will last, we hope you’ll consider window replacement with StateLine Exteriors! We specialize in energy-efficient window replacement with top-rated brands, like ProVia® or Marvin®. Between our expertise and reliable materials, you’ll never have to worry about drafty windows again!
Learn more about our window replacement services, and when you’re ready, give us a call to transform the look and feel of your Kansas City home with durable, energy-efficient windows!