How to Stop Drafts Around Windows

Answered by Jeffrey ~ February 26, 2010 ~ No Comments » | Respond to this question

My Detroit home is seven years old, and this winter my heating bill has gone up and I can feel drafts around several of my windows. What is the best way to seal them?

Sam B. ~ Detroit, Michigan

Jeffrey Anderson

Hi Sam, I imagine you get some cold drafts in Detroit during the winter. If you have wood interior trim around your windows, it's possible you are getting some drafts where the caulking has cracked. If you haven't painted since you moved in, you will have some cracked caulking. A quick caulking job might take care of it. If you feel a lot of air coming through that area, the builder might have missed some insulation between the framing and the window frame. A simple fix for that is to pull off the wood trim carefully, and use some spray insulation foam. Just use a little, as it expands. If it expands too much, you will have a tough time operating your window. I speak from experience there.

If the draft seems to be coming from the windows themselves, you might check to make sure that the window lock is holding the sashes tight against each other, but other than that there is not a lot you can yourself. You may need to have a window contractor take a look at the problem windows. If you can tell who the manufacturer is, they should have a customer service department, and they probably contract with a local window contractor to do their service work.

A quick temporary fix would be to use some of those clear plastic sheets that are available at home improvement stores. They act kind of like an interior storm window. You can lose a lot of heat from drafty windows.

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