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Drafts in windows are more than just unpleasant and inconvenient—poorly insulated windows can cost you hundreds of dollars a year in unnecessary heating.
With a few quick fixes, you can close drafts in windows and doors, which will save you up to 15% on your annual heating costs later on.
Here’s how to fix drafts in windows to keep out the cold and heat.
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Understand what the problem is
Not sure how to fix drafts in windows? Your first step is to take a look at your windows and try to figure out where the air is actually leaking from. It is possible that the seal between the glass and the sash has cracked, allowing cold air to seep in this way.
Another possible point of failure is a window sash that does not fit snugly against the window sill. And the third possibility is that there is no insulation around the window frame.
Different air entry points may require different solutions, so making sure you understand the problem is an important first step.
Cover windows with plastic wrap
One of the easiest and most affordable ways is to use a window insulation kit. For just a few dollars per window, these sheets of plastic are attached to your window opening, trapping a layer of air that serves as insulation and blocks any breeze from entering your home. Most of them are attached with the included tape and can be easily removed after the winter is over.
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Plastic insulation kits are also available for indoor use, such as the Duck Brand Shrink Wrap Insulator Kit.
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The biggest downside to this simple solution is aesthetics – many people find plastic window coverings ugly. They also tear easily so you need to make sure kids or pets don’t scratch them all season or you’ll have to put in new ones.
Sealing your windows
Another easy and affordable way to fix leaky windows is to install duct tape or sealing tape. These two methods can be a great solution for windows with cracked glass edges or if the window sash does not close completely.
Insulation is also an excellent solution to combat drafts. Like plastic sheeting, this can be a bit ugly depending on where you need weatherproofing or tape, but it does the job to fix certain problem areas.
Protective insulation is not a realistic solution if your window is just drafty from all sides, or if you have single pane windows that simply radiate cold air from outside.
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Repair the window seal (and possibly call the wizard)
Along with replacing or adding sealants, resealing windows can make a big difference. This process is a bit more complicated than some of the others, and it might be worth hiring a professional to take care of this if you feel uncomfortable. In a nutshell, resealing a window means replacing the insulation and seals around the window frame itself, as well as along the glass.
Depending on the type of windows you have, there are different steps for repairing a window seal. First, you need to remove the window frame and then spray expanding foam around the outside of the window frame, sealing any holes.
From there, either remove or scrape off the window seal that connects the glass to the sash, and then install a new gasket or apply a bead of silicone sealant around the seam between the glass and the sash.
As the process depends on the type of windows you have, contact your window manufacturer for information on proper procedures and materials.
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Defense can be beautiful too
If aesthetics are important to you and you have more funds, consider investing in blackout curtains or window shades.
Thermal curtains provide both thermal and sound insulation and can be purchased to suit your personal design style.
Curtains also provide protection all year round, keeping out cold air in winter and hot sun in summer. Just make sure you are looking for curtains with insulating properties as not all are designed with insulation in mind.
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Think It’s Time to Replace Your Windows
The best way to fix drafts is to replace them. Over time, windows wear out and need to be replaced. When no amount of sealant or sealant will stop the drafts, it’s time to install new windows.
While replacing your windows is an expensive proposition, running into the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars depending on your home and the types of windows you choose, window replacement is a surefire way to seal those pesky drafts and keep you warm.
New windows look great too, and they can add value to your home if a sale is around the corner. Just make sure that when you choose new windows, installers take your insulation concerns into account. And, as with any contractor job, get multiple offers from different vendors to make sure you’re getting both the best deal and the best product for you.
No matter what level of renovation you decide to take on, there’s no reason to watch movies with a breeze in your neck or settle for higher heating costs.
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