With temperatures dropping and weather changing for the worse, many people are beginning to prepare their homes for winter. As you’re making sure your house is ready for the months ahead don’t forget to take some time inspecting your windows. Old and damaged windows are some of the biggest detriments to the energy efficiency of a home. Identifying and preventing minor problems before it’s too late can save you a lot of money and worries down the road.
Here are some steps to follow as you’re examining your windows:
- Inspect the caulking on the outside of the window. A broken seal can be one of the biggest contributing factors to heat loss in your home. It is also one of the cheapest and easiest fixes.
- Examine the quality of weather stripping. It is crucial in ensuring high energy efficiency in operable windows. Hung and slider windows wear the weatherstripping down faster than other units, so pay extra attention there.
- Check windows for ease of operation. Make sure all the cranks, handles, and latches work properly. You shouldn’t be straining to open or close any of your units.
- Ensure the healthiness of your frames. Temperature changes can cause warpage and deterioration, especially in older windows. Pay close attention to corners and joints.
- See through the glass. Broken or cracked panes mean the unit isn’t airtight anymore. This is more than just an aesthetic issue and should be addressed as soon as possible.
- Monitor humidity levels in your home. Warm air contains more moisture than cold air. Your windows are more likely to get condensation in the winter time. Turning your thermostat down just a couple of degrees can help prevent condensation without sacrificing the comfort.
A true and tried method of testing for drafts is the candle test. Just hold a lit candle or a lighter close to the area where you suspect the cold air is coming from.
Usually, having one or two of these problems doesn’t mean that your windows need to be replaced. The fix is often cheap and easy. What is more important for the longevity and efficiency of your units is that you check them regularly and fix them before the problems accumulate.
Remember, Canadian windows are a long-term investment. In fact, a lot of prospective clients list low maintenance as one of the biggest reasons for getting new vinyl windows. It is an ideal material for frame and window hardware because it is virtually unaffected by the elements. Vinyl parts don’t deteriorate or rot over time, and most damaged hardware can be repaired piece by piece without needing to replace the entire unit.
If you’ve had your Canadian windows for several years be sure to inspect them at least twice a year to ensure their longevity and efficiency.