Your home should be a nice, cozy, warm refuge from the frigid temperatures outside. But if you have drafty windows, this takes a hit, both on your home’s internal temperature and on your energy bills. To stave off skyrocketing energy costs, especially with how expensive energy is getting, you’ll want to test for drafts and have any drafty windows fixed sooner rather than later.
Drafts suck money out of your bank account and let cold air into your home. Fortunately, there are ways you can test for drafts besides gaping at that exorbitant energy bill for the month. Here are some quick and easy ways you can check for drafts so that you can know whether or not your windows are to blame for your chilly house.
#1. Visual Inspection
There’s no need to pull out the candle or call your local library and ask if you can borrow a thermal leak detector just yet (yes, you can borrow more than books from many libraries!). If you have drafts, sometimes, there are visual indicators that give it away. This is usually the case with old, damaged, or improperly installed windows, and could mean that it’s time for window replacement.
Take a walk around your house, thoroughly inspect your windows, and watch out for some of the following tell-tale signs that could mean you have drafty windows on your hands:
- Cracked window panes. These prevent your windows from sealing properly.
- Cracking or damaged seal. This is a sign you should replace your windows and a common culprit for drafts.
- Crooked windows. Your windows shouldn’t be crooked. If they are, this affects their ability to seal properly.
- Condensation. Now, some condensation is nothing to worry about it, such as the condensation on your bathroom window after a shower. But if there’s condensation between the window panes or on the window, this could mean you need replacement.
- Curtains moving when the window is closed. If your curtains are moving and your windows are closed and you don’t have a space heater or fan going and there isn’t a vent nearby, this could mean you have a draft on your hands.
#2. The Candle Test
You’ve probably heard of this one before. This is one of the easiest ways to test for drafts, especially since most people already have candles lying around the house somewhere. Since you’re working with an open flame here, it’s important to ensure that you’re careful and that you keep it away from anything flammable.
First off, you’ll want to turn off anything that could cause air to move, like your heater. You also want to close the door (if there is a door) to the room you’re conducting your test in.
Then, you’ll light your candle and slowly move it around your window seams. If the flame moves rather than staying up straight, you’ve detected a draft.
Don’t have a candle on your hands? You can also use toilet paper and watch for spots where it blows inward as you move it around your window with a steady hand.
#3. Check If Your Windows Are Loose
A window that doesn’t close properly is a drafty one. You can test for drafts by seeing how secure your windows are. Your windows shouldn’t rattle or move if you try to shake the frame. They also shouldn’t have any open spots around the frame or cracks when closed.
You can also test for drafts and see if your windows are loose by placing a piece of paper on your windowsill and closing the window over it. It should tear or fold when you try to pull it out. If it doesn’t and it’s easy to pull the paper out, then it’s just as easy for a draft to get through that space.
#4. Get Technical
There are other, more technical ways to test for drafts, too. One is a thermal leak detector that uses infrared technology in order to test the difference in temperature around your windows. It should be relatively even. If there are cold spots, they will show up on the detector.
You can also use professional smoke pencils. These can detect drafts in a similar way to the aforementioned candle method.
Do You Have Drafty Windows?
Did you test for drafts only to, unfortunately, find some? Peak Windows can help. We provide professional window repair and replacement services all year round that eliminate your drafts and allow you to stay nice and warm all winter long. Contact us to schedule an appointment!