leaky windows + doors

window Abode ad shutterstock 03292011What to Know

When asked to rank the biggest contributors to their homes’ energy problems, people often cite leaky windows and doors. In reality they are often a much smaller piece of the puzzle than we guess. But they are highly visible and functional parts of our everyday life, and we can easily feel places where they have cracks or gaps. Indeed, if you add up all the air leaks around windows and doors the average home would have a hole the size of a basketball.


What to Do

It is usually more cost effective to tighten up what you have than to replace your existing windows and doors. The payback for replacing old windows is often 15-20 years.


Tips for tightening windows:

• Check that two clasps are present and they are positioned correctly to draw sashes up tight.

• Consider adding pulley seals if rope cords are present.

• Sometimes windows can be easily weather-stripped with inexpensive V seal.

• If considering adding an additional piece of glass to make a second ‘pane’, install one from the inside and place it as close to the existing window as possible then seal it tightly in place.


Tips for Tightening Doors:

• Consider high grade weather-stripping that can be aligned against the door. Look for silicone bulb, jamb up or Q-Lon types.

•  Replace or adjust sweeps and thresholds if they are worn and replace weatherstripping if it has worn gaskets or bulbs.

• Ensure the storm door closes tightly because the air pocket that is trapped between the exterior door and the storm door provides a big benefit.



Additional Resources:


spring weather tips older insulation hot + cold + drafty rooms moisture + mold
summer weather tips older appliances leaky windows + doors asthma + respiratory illness
fall weather tips older HVAC common upgrades
winter weather tips water efficiency for professionals