The average home loses more than 25% of its energy through thin or drafty windows. The amount of energy lost can vary depending on the style, quality, and age of the window.
Yes, double hung windows can be drafty. More moving parts can make them prone to leaks more than other window styles. As they get older, the sashes can contract and open up gaps. And like all windows, weatherstripping and caulk can breakdown and keep the window from tightly closing.
If you notice your double hung windows beginning to get drafty, there are some easy DIY solutions to help preserve your home’s energy.
Re-caulking your windows is a great way to seal fixed joints that have begun to let air pass through. To do this, begin by scraping off all of the old caulk and paint around the outside of the window wipe away any dirt so you have a clean surface. Using an exterior caulk, apply to the joints around the window to create a seal between all of the gaps.
Replacing old and damaged weatherstripping can also help seal your windows and prevent drafts. There are several styles of weatherstripping; be sure to find the best style that suits your window and home. Make sure all of the old weatherstripping has been removed and scraped off for a clean surface. Once the new weatherstripping has been cut to fit, apply it around both of the sashes where they meet the window frame.
Insulation kits are function over form - excellent for preventing drafts, but not the most aesthetic. These types of kits seal the entire window from the inside of the home using shrink-wrap plastic. The plastic is taped over the window to hold it in place, then hit with a heat gun or blow dryer to seal it up.
Add an Additional Sash Lock
Most double hung windows have a single sash lock in the middle of the window (where the sashes meet). Adding a second lock can help the sashes fit together tighter. You will want to remove the current lock and slide it slightly to the left or right to make room for the second lock. Measure the width of the window and divide by 3 to find even spacing.
Double hung windows are commonly considered more drafty than others, but the truth is, all windows can potentially become drafty as they age. If these solutions don’t eliminate your double hung window drafts, it might be time to consider upgrading to energy efficient windows.
If you live in the Kansas City metro area, contact Precision Windows and Doors for window assistance at 816-524-8999 or 913-649-1199.