As the temperature continues to drop in Texas you may have found yourself asking, "Why are my windows so cold?"
Essentially, if you’re noticing a cold draft by your window, chances are the window is poorly insulated, has cracks, or faulty seals.
In other words, it’s time for new windows. We know homeowners don’t take this type of project lightly. So, if you’re not ready for new windows there are a few things you can do to improve the comfort of your home in the winter.
Read on to learn more about winter-proofing your windows. If you’re ready for a long-term solution we’ll also share a few tips on how to choose new windows.
Preventing drafts is a great way to weather-proof your windows for hot and cold weather.
One way to find drafts in your home is to use a wind meter. You can get a wind meter on Amazon for about $15, and they’re an effective way to find drafts and get an idea of how bad they are as well.
Another method to check for drafts is by doing a smoke test. To start a smoke test, first, you should make sure all your windows and doors are closed.
Then, you can start switching off any combustion appliances. Combustion appliances include anything that burns fuel to heat, cook or do anything. These include heaters, burners, and gas cookers, among others.
Once those are turned off, the next step is turning on exhaust vents in your kitchen and bathroom. This will create negative air pressure in your house.
Now, fire up an incense stick or a match and hold it against the edges of your windows and doors. If you notice the smoke wafting, the window is letting in a draft.
If you observe a force, then that part of the window has the draft. This method can also work with an open flame like a candle.
Another easy way to detect drafts is to use an infrared thermometer. An infrared thermometer can help find drafts and even HVAC issues. So, even if your windows aren’t the cause of your chilly house, an infrared thermometer can help narrow down the problem area.
You can fix these smaller drafts with some caulk. However, if all of your windows have drafts, then replacing windows is a better solution.
Once you’ve conducted draft tests and concluded that there are drafts in your house, you can decide to either replace your windows or do a quick, temporary fix.
If you find that there are only one or two windows that are letting in a draft, you can try to seal them yourself. Here are some of the best ways to stop window drafts:
Films for window insulation are made of a polymer that can easily be attached to any surface. All you need to keep your window insulated with the film is to:
Filming your windows adds another layer to prevent that cold air from disturbing your comfort levels; it’s doing work similar to that of a double-pane window upgraded from a single-pane window. Attach a cling film with tape or heat from a hair dryer. You can purchase these cling films from your local home improvement store, Walmart, Target, or Amazon.
Weather strips are similar to window films only this time the weather strips will function. Weather strips fill your drafts and keep cold air from coming through windows and hot air from coming in during warm seasons.
Foam tape is installed between your glass and the frame of your windows. It can be used to fill the significant gaps in the windows of your house and function to keep air, dust, cold air, and moisture from getting through your windows to your house.
Thermal curtains are a short-term solution to cold penetrating your windows to get to your home. These curtains are made of fabric that will hold the cold air coming through windows from reaching your house. The trick when using thermal curtains is that you have to keep your windows shut.
Ultimately, new windows are the best solution to your drafty window situation. Replacement windows provide a long-term solution to your old windows that are beginning to show their wear. So how do you pick out the best windows for your home? Let's tackle that below.
If the majority of your windows are getting old and letting in a draft, it’s time to replace them. As you shop for quality windows to help with the hot and especially cold seasons of Texas, you need to consider insulated windows.
Insulated windows such as double-pane windows have a space of gas between the two panes. This space results in slowing the penetration of both hot and in this case, cold air. The air within the panes balances the temperature of your house and reduces the cost of energy spent to keep the heat levels of your house favorable.
Although replacing your windows is not something you’re going to have to do often, the average lifespan of a window is 15-20 years. So it’s not uncommon for long-time homeowners to have to do a set of window replacements.
The frame is the main part of the window and will tend to allow a lot of air in if the material is not well selected. Choose wooden, fiberglass, or vinyl material frames. If the window is wooden, let it be vinyl-cladded to protect the wood from damage from direct exposure to cold and cold moisture.
Choose double or triple-glass windows over single-pane glass windows. Double and triple windows are filled with argon or krypton gasses in between. In short, these gasses reduce heat transmission through your windows↗ keeping your house in favorable temperatures.
Important to note: It is hard to find an airtight window. Therefore make sure the window is well manufactured and get a professional to install your window and fill up the few spaces left behind when fitting the windows. Located in North Texas? Contact us to schedule a free consultation.
If you have decided to get new windows for your home, your next step should be to consult a windows salesperson to receive a professional estimate. Moreover, you will need time for a professional to install your cold-season windows. Currently, we’re seeing lead times up to 3-4 months for replacement window projects.
So what's the best time to order and replace your windows in Texas? It’s best to order your windows a few months before late spring and early summer. This will ensure your windows are prepared for blistering summers as well as harsh winters.
Having your windows installed when it is warm prevents drafts from getting to windows when it's cold and causing damage to your new windows.
Now that you know why your windows are so cold? It's time to order new windows for your Texas home. Remember to check whether you need to replace windows by doing a smoke test or having a professional check your windows.
Also, it’s important to note that windows can take up to 3-4 months to be installed. So, in the meantime, you can try using thermal curtains, weather strips, foam tapes, and films to keep your house warm as your new windows are being manufactured.
We don't currently serve your area but do want to help you plan your project. Try our Build & Price tool to get an idea of window & door costs within DFW. Your area may be higher or lower but at least you'll have some idea of the price.
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