Leaky Home Window: Find It, Fix It, Enjoy the View
by Karl Fendelander
When it comes to home windows, the best thing about them is that they let you see the outdoors without all the weather. However, leaky home windows can be troublesome. Without proper installation--or over time as your home settles--even the most energy efficient windows can leak. Unfortunately, leaks undermine the whole insulation system.
When things feel a bit drafty, here's what you can do to locate a leak around your home windows:
1. Try to locate the leak visually. Often you can see a gap or insufficient caulking somewhere
2. Adjust the temperature. If it's hot outside, make it cold inside and vice-versa. Running your hand around the window may yield results, but putting your face near the window allows you to listen for a tell-tale whistle at the same time
3. Thermal imaging. Short of tearing apart the wall around the window and re-installing it, this is the one option you've got left. Thermal imaging sounds fancier than it is, and any energy efficient windows expert should have a thermal camera or know where to find one. This method is foolproof. If you don't come up with results, your home windows are fine--there's no leak
4. Look in the wall. If you do tear apart the wall around the window, you're looking for mold damage. When weather gets in, it leaves a mark. Find it, and replace the damaged wood. You'll be back to getting the most out of those great thermal window ratings in no time
Be sure to perform all of these tests inside and outside your home. Windows that pass the interior visual inspection, might reveal why they've decided to stop being energy efficient when you look at them from a different angle.
About the Author:
Karl Fendelander is a freelance writer and editor living in Reno, NV. He holds a degree in writing, which complements an eclectic work and education history. A lover of the outdoors, Karl can often be found hiking and climbing around the West.