Reader Question: What Can I Do About My Old, Leaky Windows?
We continue our Home Improvement Questions series today by tackling one of the most common frustrations homeowners deal with: leaky windows. When we asked readers to submit their home improvement questions, by far the most common question we received was:
“What can I do about my old, leaky windows?”
Here’s the truth: The average home loses 10% to 25% of its heat through the windows. And that works both ways. During the winter, heat is escaping through the windows, causing you to have to crank up your heater. During the summer, heat from the outside finds its way into your home through the windows, meaning you have to crank up the air conditioner to keep your house cool. This causes your electricity bills to be unnecessarily high, and it can put serious wear and tear on your home’s heating and cooling system.
Confirm The Leak
Before we discuss steps you can take to remedy leaky windows, the first thing you need to do is actually confirm the leak exists. First, inspect the perimeter seal around the frame where it should be caulked between the veneer of the home and the exterior frame of the window. There needs to be a good seal here. If you can see good caulking, put a fan up against one side of the window. On the other side of the window, take a weather around the edges of the window to see if the air from the fan causes it to move. If it does, window replacement is likely your best option.
Upgrading To Energy Efficient Windows
According to ENERGY STAR, replacing the old windows in your home with new, energy efficient windows can reduce your household energy bills by up to 15%. Stop and think about that for a second. How much do you spend on electricity every month? Wouldn’t you like to cut that bill by up to 15% every month? And wouldn’t you feel better reducing your home’s energy use and carbon footprint?
But saving money isn’t the only benefit afforded by upgrading to ENERGY STAR qualified windows. Energy efficient windows will also improve your indoor comfort by eliminating drafts and leaks and preventing heat transfer from the sun during the hot Texas summer. That means your home will have a nice, consistently comfortable indoor temperature.
Another benefit of energy efficient windows is that it helps protect your most valuable possessions from sun damage. With the sunlight beating down on your home all day long, your wood floors, curtains, furniture, photographs, and other belongings could fade and discolor if you have old windows. ENERGY STAR windows come with special coatings that help block the heat and the sun’s harmful UV rays, thus protecting your valuables.
New, energy efficient windows can also help improve the value of your home with the savings they provide and their curb appeal. And with transferrable warranties, should you decide to sell your home, you’ll be able to fetch a higher price with the added value you’re delivering to the buyer.
The Perfect Fit
One of the things readers wanted to know about replacement windows was whether or not they would fit properly on an old house. Yes, your old windows can be replaced with new, energy efficient, vinyl windows.
When vinyl windows were created to replace old windows, they were manufactured at the same dimensions as old windows to ensure a proper fit. So, even if your home is from the 1940s, you can get new replacement windows that will fit properly and even provide the same aesthetic beauty to the home that your existing wood windows currently give.
Simply put, when replacing windows, we’re able to design the window to fit the hole to your exact specs. You can change the grid work, operation, and functionality, all while keeping aesthetics in mind.
Have a question about upgrading your windows? Leave a comment and we’ll reply!