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How to Stop Drafts from Around Windows

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How to Stop Drafts from Around Windows Blog Feature
Eric Garcia

By: Eric Garcia on October 18th, 2023

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Are you tired of uncomfortable drafts sneaking in through your windows? 

Those drafts clearly indicate that something is up with your windows and isn’t good.

Aside from larger areas in the home, like the attic and basement, windows and doors can be a top contributor to air leakage into and out of a home. This happens for several reasons, from damage to age to faulty installation, just to name a few. 

Our RetroFoam dealers nationwide help homeowners identify where air leaks are in the home and how to fix them.

Let’s explore the common causes of drafts around windows and provide practical solutions to help you regain control over your home's comfort. We'll also touch on a crucial aspect – the potential connection between window drafts and wall insulation issues.

Air Leak Detection in a Home

Various factors can cause drafts around windows. 

Understanding these factors is the first step toward addressing the issue effectively and ending the uncomfortable drafts.

Here are some of the causes of those unwanted window drafts.

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Cause #1 - Window Damage

During periods of high winds or when there is flying debris, such as during a storm, the windows in your home or building are susceptible to damage. 

This can result in drafts, which can significantly affect your space's comfort and energy efficiency. That's why it's important to regularly inspect your windows for any signs of damage or wear and take prompt action to address them. 

By being proactive in monitoring the condition of your windows, you can ensure a safer and more comfortable environment for yourself and your loved ones.

Cause #2 - Window Age

Over the years, the materials used in windows may gradually deteriorate, resulting in diminished insulation capabilities for your home. 

As a consequence, aging windows often become a prevalent cause of drafts, allowing unwanted air infiltration and compromising the overall energy efficiency of your living space. Attending to these issues promptly is essential to maintain a comfortable and well-insulated home environment.

Cause #3 - Improper Window Installation

Windows that were installed incorrectly or not correctly air-sealed during installation can contribute to drafty conditions, leading to significant heat loss during colder months and unwanted heat gain during hotter months. 

This affects the comfort level of your living space and puts a strain on your energy bills. Ensuring proper installation and air-sealing of windows is crucial to maintaining a comfortable and energy-efficient home.

Solutions to Block Drafts from Windows

Now that we've identified the causes let's explore practical solutions to stop those drafts.

Solution #1 - Seal Drafty Windows

One of the most common and cost-effective ways to combat drafts is by sealing your windows with appropriate sealants like caulk, silicone, putty, or canned foam. 

To do this, you may need to remove parts of the window trim and sill plates to access the window frame. Make sure to seal all joints and junctions thoroughly. 

While this solution may be somewhat invasive and messy, it's relatively inexpensive and can be a DIY project.

Solution #2 - Replacing the Window

If sealing doesn't do the trick, consider replacing your windows. 

This can be a more significant investment, particularly if you need to replace all the windows in your home. However, it's often the only way to resolve the issue altogether. 

Plastic window coverings can provide a temporary solution but may not be aesthetically pleasing or suitable for all seasons.

Solution #3 - Evaluate Your Wall Insulation

Persistent drafts around windows sometimes signal more significant problems within your walls. Air may be infiltrating your walls, making its way to your windows. 

To tackle this issue, consider evaluating your overall building envelope. Foam insulation can be valuable in reducing air infiltration and improving your home's energy efficiency. It's essential to address the root cause of drafts to ensure long-term comfort.

Regaining Control Over Your Home's Comfort

Drafty windows can be a nuisance, but with the right knowledge and solutions, you can regain control over your home's comfort. 

Start by identifying the cause of the drafts, whether it's window damage, age, or improper installation. From there, you can choose the most suitable solution, whether it's sealing, window replacement, or considering your wall insulation

Remember, achieving a draft-free home is a step toward enhanced energy efficiency and comfort. If you suspect more significant issues with your wall insulation, don't hesitate to consult a professional to assess your building envelope and explore the benefits of foam insulation. Your comfort and energy savings are worth the effort.

For more information on how foam insulation can help improve your home's comfort and energy efficiency, visit our Find a Dealer page to connect with your local RetroFoam dealer. Building may be a science, but your home's comfort is an art worth mastering.

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About Eric Garcia

Eric brings his knowledge and training in building science, training in spray and injection foams from the manufacturers, more than eight years installing foam insulation, as well as selling and managing in the foam insulation industry. He is also BPI and Dale Carnegie certified and has taken several building science courses, including air sealing and building envelope. Eric is the Professor of Foam on our educational YouTube series Foam University. Even when Eric is off he is usually still “working” or thinking about work, but when he can get away he enjoys camping, hiking, hunting, and woodworking.