The type of window and the installation method used depends on the problem that is being overcome and the construction characteristics of the house. The following problem areas are presented and explained to help you understand the various directions your new window installations might take.
Warm or Cool Spots
On a hot or cold day, check for warm or cool spots near the inside of the window. If you find them, it means the windows are not adequately insulating the house.
Check for Drafts.
Hold a lighted candle in front of the window’s edge. If the candle flickers, drafts are coming in through the window.
Peeling Paint on Exterior of House
This can be caused by moisture traveling through improperly sealed windows and back out to the exterior. Also, in older homes, exposure to UV rays and temperature extremes may cause exterior frames to expand and contract, causing paint to peel.
Check the Window Frames.
Tap the frame with a flat-blade screwdriver to test the softness of the wood. If the end of the screwdriver can be pushed easily into the wood, it’s usually a sign of decay and full-frame replacement windows may be an option to consider. Note: To avoid damage to the frame, make sure to use a flat-blade screwdriver or other blunt tool.
Frost and Ice Buildup
When inadequate insulation or poor thermal material allows a too-quick transition from hot to cold air, condensation can develop and frost and/or ice may form on the windows.
Check the Operation.
Open and close each window to see if it operates smoothly. If the window needs a prop, such as a yardstick, to stay open or it’s painted or swollen shut, it needs to be replaced.
Outside Noise or Drafts
As insulation around a window deteriorates, openings form that also allow unwanted sound and drafts into the home. Old single-pane glass provides inadequate protection against outside noise. Consider replacement windows with insulating glass for greater thermal efficiency and sound reduction.
Check for Caulk or Seal Failure.
Stand outside the window with a flashlight. Using the flashlight, “travel” around the entire window frame. If someone inside sees light coming through, this may mean caulk or seal failure or, potentially, energy loss.