If your windows and doors are tightly sealed, you’ll save on your air conditioning bills (and in the winter, your heating bills). Many homes in Dayton have leaky windows and doors, but their owners don’t realize it. Warm air is constantly seeping into these homes, causing the AC units to work overtime and electricity bills to skyrocket. Plus, the homes are not as comfortable as they could be, as warm drafts become concentrated in some areas. It’s easy to miss the signs of air leaks, especially if your windows and doors have been leaky for a while.
To check for air leak issues, follow these steps.
Preliminary Checks for Air Leaks
First, you want to generally inspect each one of your windows and doors. Grasp the sash of each window and give it a little shake. If the window rattles within the frame, it is not as tightly fitted as it could be, and air is probably leaking in. Next, check the window’s lock. Does it properly keep the window in place when you push it into “lock” mode, or does it refuse to secure the window in place? A lock that does not work properly usually leads to an air leak.
Finally, look around your windows and window frames and also along your doors and door frames to see if you can visually see a gap along the frame. Also note any cracks in the frames, sashes, or windows, as a crack is most definitely an air leak.
A More Detailed Check for Air Leaks
Just because you don’t notice any of the signs of air leaks described above does not necessarily mean a bit of air is not seeping in around your windows or doors. There’s a more detailed, precise way to check for air leaks in your Dayton home.
Follow these steps:
- Walk through your house, and close all of the windows, exterior doors, and vents. If you have any ceiling vents or other vents you can’t close, tape some plastic wrap over them for the time being. Close the locks on all windows and doors.
- Turn on all of the exhaust fans in your home, including those in your kitchen and bathroom. This will create negative pressure inside the house so that if there are any air leaks, outside air will be drawn in through them.
- Light a stick of incense. Choose a type that has a very thick, dense smoke that you can easily see.
- Pass the incense along the edges of a window. If the smoke gets blown in towards the center of the room, this means you’ve found an air leak.
- Repeat the incense step with each window and door in your Dayton home. Make note of which windows and doors are found to have air leaks.
If your air leaks are minor, you may be able to fix them by re-caulking your windows or pressing some rope caulk into the crevices. However, for many, the development of air leaks is a sign that it’s time to replace windows and doors. Sashes and frames, especially those made from wood, tend to bow slightly as they age. Eventually, they may not fit snugly into the frame, leading to leaks.
The experts at Renewal by Andersen can discuss the best window replacement options for your Dayton home. We offer replacement windows made with Fibrex®, a composite material that resists bowing and ensures a tighter fit within the window frame. Contact Renewal by Andersen Dayton today to set up your free in-home consultation.