How can I check to see if windows are insulated?

Answered by Brendan ~ January 23, 2011 ~ No Comments

How can I check to see if when a replacment vinyl windows was installed, the window frame was actually insulated fully? A few years ago, I had vinyl replacement windows installed in an 100 year old house. I still seem to have draft issues around the windows and I'm thinking that the gaps where the old window weights were, weren't insulated or at least not fully insulated. Is there a way to see if there is any insulation in the window frames, or fill any possible gaps in the wood window frames that now have vinyl replacement windows already in them? Thank you.

Marsha ~ Boston, Massachusetts

Brendan Fowler

There is no way to do a great inspection without removing the window; however, you can carefully pull off the interior trim and insulate around the window from the inside. Spray-in expanding foam works well in this application. This will not fill all the voids left from the sash weights, but it should help cut down on airflow around a window. It will also be very important to caulk thoroughly around the window once the trim is reinstalled on both the inside and outside. On old homes it can be very difficult to eliminate all the drafts coming from around windows, outlets, lights, doors, and trim. Homes were built very differently 100 years ago than they are today. If you work carefully and systematically on each window, you should be able to get them pretty well sealed up. Good Luck!

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