When you think of window replacement, you might not give much thought to the quality of your window seal. However, window seals are just as important as the window itself. If you want to make sure that your window replacement is truly energy efficient and effective at keeping air out of your home or business, then be sure to check window seals.
A window seal is like the rubber ring around an inner tube on a tire; it prevents air from getting out (or in). Whether you’re looking into new windows for your home, commercial building, or anywhere else with an opening that requires more than one pane of glass, don’t forget about window seals! Here are 5 points to check for air leaks and seal windows.
1. Make sure the window seal is intact.
As silly as it may seem, window seals can get damaged and worn down over time. If this happens to your window, you could be losing valuable energy efficiency.
The best way to check window seals is to look for any obvious signs of damage like cracks or chips in the window frame, gaps around the window that when you touch reveal a well-defined line of air behind them, visible watermarks from moisture evaporating from inside or outside the window, or mold growing on either side of the window. Any one of these issues should raise concerns about window seals.
2. Look at the fit and finish throughout the entire window frame.
Don’t just stop with the visible part of window seals; window seals can be hidden away. Make sure to check the window seal fit and finish throughout the window itself. Check:
The window panes: Are they fitted correctly? If there is a gap between every window pane, your window needs replacement.
The window frame: Do any of the metal or wood parts of the window have sharp or ragged edges that might cut into window seals as they close? Are there any areas where paint has worn off metal window frames leaving behind rust spots?
3. Look for warped windows and windows that don’t stay open on their own.
As we said before, air leaks aren’t always visible from the outside looking in. Even if you think your window looks fine from afar, look closer. Make sure window panes are properly seated no matter how many window panes you have. Also, make sure window seals themselves aren’t warped.
4. Look for watermarks or streaks that appear on window pane surfaces.
Windowpane surfaces are an important part of window seals, though they’re also the most difficult surface to assess for window seal quality. This is because window panes are made up of multiple layers of different kinds of materials, each with its own specific purpose in keeping air leaks out and heat inside. If you notice any watermarks, especially around windows near your heating/cooling system (such as ductwork), it could be a sign of evaporated moisture leaking through poorly performing window seals.
5. Look for window frame insulation properly installed on the window frame itself, not just around window panes.
As we mentioned, windowpane surfaces are the most difficult window surfaces to assess for window seals! That means that window seals have more than one job: preventing air from leaking in as well as keeping heat from leaking out. In some cases, your window replacement might actually do a better job of preventing air from coming in than keeping heat out! If this is the case, you might notice some cold spots along your windows where they meet their surrounding walls or window frames. These cold spots usually indicate a lack of window frame insulation. This window frame insulation keeps window panes warmer, preventing condensation (which can lead to window seal failure). Without window frame insulation, your window replacement might not be able to keep cold air outside in autumn and winter or hot air outside in spring and summer.
By following the tips above you can check for air leaks and seal windows. However, if you want to know more about window replacement consult a professional today for expert advice!