How to Check for Costly Air Leaks Around Windows and Doors

Leaks in your windows and doors can increase your energy bills exponentially since it taxes your central air and heating system to work longer and harder to maintain the proper temperature in the home. You can lower those bills by checking your windows and doors to find air leaks and seal them up to keep the cool or warm air inside and the outdoor elements such as rain and wind outside.

You could go the professional route and call in a qualified technician to come in do an assessment of the home and all the possible areas of leakage. This will usually include a blower door test which is done to depressurize the home and locate any leaks that might be letting out your expensive temperature-adjusted air.

But before you spend more money, you can perform some of these checks yourself by focusing your attention on the windows and doors of the home and conducting some audits of your own. Don’t worry, you need not be some certified expert to do these inspections, they’re simple enough for anyone to accomplish quickly.

Check the Windows

Even though your windows are shut, you could still be allowing air and water seep in or out, which can lead to rot build-up, broken caulking seals, even fractured glass and closures that don’t quite shut correctly. Here are a few things you can try to see if your windows are part of the problem.

Secure the Perimeter

This one is obvious but if you don’t need to look through the window but at the surrounding areas of the frame itself to see the great outdoors, you’ve got a very evident leakage issue. The fix may be as easy as sealing the gaps with weather stripping and some caulk.

Rattle the Windows

Your frames shouldn’t rattle, but if you are able to shake the frame even a little bit, then you’re letting your temperature-controlled air get out. Be sure to secure the window in place with some nails and a little caulk to ensure a tight seal.

Replacement Windows

Unfortunately, some windows that have suffered too much rot or warping over time cannot be repaired and replacements must be installed. Your Renewal by Andersen technician can let you know if a window is too far gone to be restored and newer models are necessary.

Modern Technology

Sometimes you need a little help to find the really small leaks. Doors and windows alike can be diagnosed using an infrared thermometer. It’s a very helpful tool for determining even the smallest temperature shifts and pinpointing where air temperatures are drastically different, revealing leaks that are driving up your energy bills year after year.

Don’t Forget Skylights

If your home has them, your leaks could be located up there. Check around the skylight for discoloration on the wall beneath it to determine if there is air leaking out and water dripping in. You’ll need to make a small hole in the stained portion of the drywall to check for moisture. Be sure to conduct a diagnosis for visible gaps around the skylight as well.