Your windows should be as insulated as possible. They are meant to keep extreme weather outside while letting light in. Windows tend to be insulated with inert gases sealed between the glass panes. These gases do not react with other elements, preventing particles from passing through on either side.

Over time, the gas sealed between your windowpanes will gradually escape. If you feel drafts coming through your windows, there are several tests you can conduct to determine whether your windows need to be re-sealed or replaced.

The Candle Test

A candle is a simple, money-saving way to test for drafty windows. All you need is a candle and some preparation time.

Before using the candle, make sure the air in your home is as still as possible. Turn off fans, air conditioners, and close all windows, including the one you are testing. Ensure that any flammable materials are safely stored and out of the way.

Once you have finished setting up, light your candle and place it near the window. Watch the flame carefully. If it stays straight while burning, you likely do not have a draft. If it bends and curves while burning, you may have a drafty window. 

If you can place the candle at different locations on your windowpane, you can determine exactly where the air is coming in. A drafty window may still be sealed near the corners, but leaking at the sashes, and vice versa.

The Curtain Test

The curtain test functions similarly to the candle test if you want to check for leaky windows. It can be a useful alternative when you want to avoid lighting an open flame in your home, or if you already have curtains set up on your windows.

After minimizing moving air inside your home, check whether your curtains are still stirring. Curtains that cannot stay still may be a sign of leaking windows.

Light curtains are more effective than heavy curtains for testing drafty windows, because drafts are more likely to displace them.

The Infrared Thermometer Test

Infrared thermometers accurately measure temperature in the surrounding air. You can buy or rent an infrared thermometer and hold it up to your window. If a certain part of the window is colder than surrounding areas, your window may be letting air through.

The Eye Test

A simple examination of your windows can reveal signs of leakage. If your window was glazed during installation, you should check for signs of deterioration on your glazing. Window glazing is the hardened putty that seals off windows and guarantees their insulation. It often cracks over time. If there are enough cracks to expose the glass underneath, this may be the cause of your drafty windows.

Other visible signs of leaky windows include warped window frames, foggy panes, and worn caulking. Compromised areas of your window can combine to let outside air in.

Solutions For Drafty Windows

Drafty windows can reduce comfort in your home and compel you to spend more on air conditioning. Some leaky windows may evade detection entirely, but a higher energy bill can be a telltale sign that your windows need attention.

Temporary solutions for drafty windows include re-caulking, re-glazing, and installing interior inserts. These solutions may shield your home from the elements, but they may not permanently fix the problem. If a window is in poor condition, it will continue to degrade until its insulation capabilities are a fraction of what they once were.

Window replacement can help you save on your energy bill and upgrade your home’s aesthetic. Expert window contractors utilize high-quality materials to replace, install, and seal your new windows. Call Open & Shut KC at 913-586-OPEN or get a quote for window installation you can trust in your Kansas City home.

Blog post

Recent posts

Start Now

Your home deserves the best. Get a quote for premium window replacement in Kansas City, and discover a more comfortable, beautiful home.

Get a quote