Inefficient windows may be all that’s keeping you between staying comfortable this winter and achieving low energy bills. Although it’s a small investment of time and money, adding window insulation might be the key to a draft-free home and reasonable heating accosts.
As important as they are, windows are often the least efficient component of homes. Glass has practically no insulation value and air leaks in windows are common. Making your windows more efficient is a two-step process to stop the leaks and slow the loss of heat through the glass.
Seal the Leaks
A professional energy audit is the most accurate way to find where the leaks around the windows are. The auditors use a high-powered fan to pull the air from your home and test the temperatures with infrared cameras to find the location of the leaks and their sizes. Once you’ve identified their locations, you can seal most leaks with acrylic caulk around the frames and silicone caulk around the panes.
The excess humidity that causes window condensation not only damages sills and trim, it can result in mold and mildew growth and degrade indoor air quality. If your windows have condensation, it’s important to identify the reasons why, such as:
Insufficient ventilation. Without adequate ventilation and air exchange, excess moisture from respiration, cooking, bathing and other daily activities can stay trapped inside a dwelling.
Inefficient windows. High humidity in a home is more likely to cause condensation on single pane windows that aren’t energy efficient.
An oversized A/C. An air conditioner that’s not sized correctly cycles on, quickly reaches the thermostat’s target temperature and then cycles off. With this repeated short-cycling, the equipment doesn’t stay running long enough to pull moisture out of the air, so humidity levels stay high.
The most effective way to reduce window condensation is to address the underlying causes:
Increase ventilation. The controlled air exchange provided by properly-installed ventilation fans or a whole-house system not only eliminates excess moisture, it helps remove volatile organic compounds …