Case Studies

Global Home Improvement Case Studies: What Actually Causes a Drafty Window?

Thursday, March 15th, 2018 by Michael Gabrian

Challenge

We’ve all stepped into a room that’s significantly colder than the other rooms in the home. Window drafts not only cause rooms to feel much more uncomfortable than the rest of the house, they also lead to higher heating and cooling costs. When your window has a draft, outside air can find it’s way inside, and that inside air can escape out. This makes maintaining stable internal temperatures really difficult.

Drafty windows, what actually causes them and what are some fixes to consider?

What causes a drafty window?

There are a couple of things that can lead to drafty windows, some not even in your power to control.

Weathering and regular wear and tear can affect certain window materials a bit more extensively, but this can have a significant impact on your windows’ performance. Think of how vinyl and wood expand and contract in hot and cold weather. Ultimately, this will lead to vulnerabilities for cracking and warping. This could also snowball into moisture finding ways into these little crevices and growing mold that could compromise the window’s seal.

Another major factor is your window’s seal. There are two areas we should focus on; the seal between your panes and your weatherstrip. Typically, between two and three-paned glass is the gas, argon, which adds to the insulation of the glass. It prevents heat from moving through the panes. If there is a leak and the argon can escape, your window loses it’s insulation. The weatherstrip is another barrier from drafts and energy loss. If this is damaged or worn, air can slip through.

When actually having your windows installed or replaced, it’s crucial to have a reputable company do the installation. If your windows aren’t installed correctly, they could be put in place with an already compromised seal. So whatever extent you go to improve your window’s performance, that underlying problem would still be there.

How to fix a drafty window

In terms of temporary solutions, you have a variety. Though they won’t actually help you solve the problem at hand, you can try inspecting the window for damaged areas and reapplying weatherstripping or caulk which would give you some time before really tackling the problem. If the draft is very minimal, you could try using thermal shades. This will at least block the draft from dramatically messing with your indoor temperatures.

If you’re looking for a real solution, I would invest in a Marvin Infinity window replacement. There are a couple ways these windows fight off any possibilities of a draft. The first being the fiberglass frame. It’s much stronger than wood or vinyl, so it’s more resistant to weathering and expansion and contraction. This means your frame won’t actually crack so air won’t have a way inside. Plus, they use a rubber weatherstrip with is much more durable and efficient than the felt alternatives that we see so often.

Marvin Infinity Windows use more energy efficient glass. These windows will reflect heat back to it’s source, meaning that in the summer, your home will stay cool and in the winter, your home will stay warm. As a homeowner, this will help you save tons of money on your energy bills. 

Solution

No one likes drafty windows. Not only is it costly to turn up the heat or AC to compensate for the draft but it makes the room uncomfortable.

As discussed, there are several short-term options that could last you a season, but your best option to fix and prevent drafts is to consider a Marvin Infinity window replacement. To get an idea of what it would cost, give us a call today!

 

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