Winter is here, and temperatures outside are chilly. Cold breezes through drafty windows compromise comfort and lead to higher energy bills as your heating system works harder to maintain a comfortable temperature. Fixing your windows is a manageable task that keeps you warm and improves energy efficiency. Here are a few methods to identify and fix drafty windows.

Easy Ways to Fix Drafty Windows

1. Locate the Drafts

The first step in addressing drafty windows is to identify the location of airflow around windows. Move a lit candle around the edges of the window. If you notice the flame flickering, it’s likely due to airflow from a draft.

2. Seal Gaps and Cracks

Use caulking or weatherstripping to seal gaps or cracks around the window. Caulk is ideal for stationary components, while weatherstripping is suitable around movable parts. Choose a weather-resistant sealant that can withstand temperature changes. Over time, weatherstripping can deteriorate and become less effective. Remove the product and replace weatherstripping to maintain an airtight seal around the windows.

3. Add Window Film

Window film is a cost-effective solution that acts as a barrier against drafts. Apply the film to the window’s interior, using a hairdryer to shrink it and create a tight seal. Window film reduces drafts while still allowing sunlight through the windows.

4. Install Draft Stoppers

Place draft stoppers, also known as draft snakes, along the bottom of windows to prevent cold air from entering. These can be purchased or made by filling a fabric tube with a weighted material like rice or beans.

5. Upgrade the Window Treatments

Use heavy curtains or thermal blinds during the colder months. These window treatments provide a layer of insulation, preventing drafts from entering your living space.

6. Apply Rope Caulk to Fix Drafty Windows

Rope caulk is a pliable, putty-like substance you can press into gaps and cracks around windows. It’s easy to apply and remove, making it a temporary yet effective solution for drafty windows.

7. Window Inserts

Window inserts, such as interior storm windows, provide an additional insulation layer. These are particularly effective in older homes with single-pane glass.

8. Invest in Energy-Efficient Windows

If your windows are older, invest in modern energy-efficient windows. Double or triple-pane windows with low-emissivity (low-E) coatings significantly reduce heat loss and drafts.

9. Consult a Professional to Fix Drafty Windows

If you’re unsure about the best approach or if the drafts persist after taking the above steps, consult a pro. A window specialist can assess the situation and recommend the best solution, including professional repairs or window replacement.

Fixing drafty windows is a practical and worthwhile endeavor to boost comfort and energy efficiency. Whether you opt for simple, cost-effective solutions like weatherstripping and window film or invest in new, energy-efficient windows, addressing drafts will pay off in the long term. A draft-free home offers cozy, comfortable living spaces even during the coldest months of the year.

Realistic Home Inspection Services offers professional home inspection services in the greater Milwaukee area. Contact us to request an appointment.