It’s that time of year again Ontario! As the leaves keep falling and temperatures keep plummeting, the chill is beginning to turn into cold days and even colder nights.
As the first snow of the season hits, there is pressure to get the home prepared for the coming frigid season with blistering winds, hail, sleet and snow. One of the most critical parts of the house to get ready for winter weather is the windows! Since windows interrupt the continuous structure of dwellings walls, it makes sense that they are one of the main perpetrators of letting cold in, so being prepared is necessary to minimize drafts entering the house.
There are several methods to reduce the amount of a cold a window lets into the house. They include rubber weather sealing, insulation film, and adding heavy curtains to a window, but there are many other methods which are listed below.
Here are some steps you can follow as you’re examining your windows:
- A true and tried method of testing for drafts is the candle test. Just hold a lit candle or a lighter close to the area where you suspect the cold air is coming from outside.
- Inspect the caulking on the outside of the window. A broken seal can be one of the most significant contributing factors to heat loss in your home. It is also one of the cheapest and easiest fixes.
- Examine the quality of weather stripping. It is crucial in ensuring high energy efficiency inoperable windows. Hung and slider windows wear the weatherstripping down faster than other units, so pay extra attention there.
- Check windows for ease of operation. Make sure all the cranks, handles and latches work correctly. You shouldn’t be straining to open or close any of your units.
- Ensure the healthiness of your frames. Temperature changes can cause warpage and deterioration, especially in older windows. Pay close attention to corners and joints.
- See through the glass. Broken or cracked panes mean the unit isn’t airtight anymore. This is more than just an aesthetic issue and should be addressed as soon as possible.
- Monitor humidity levels in your home. Warm air contains more moisture than cold air. Your windows are more likely to get condensation in the winter time. Turning your thermostat down just a couple of degrees can help prevent condensation without sacrificing the comfort.
Ordinarily, having one or two of these problems doesn’t mean that your windows need to be replaced and the fix is often cheap and easy. What you need to be more concerned about is the longevity and efficiency of your units, so if you check them regularly and fix them before the problems accumulate, you’re ahead of the game. If you’ve had your Canadian windows for several years, it’s good advice to inspect them at least twice a year to ensure their longevity and efficiency.
With winter ready to hit us again in Ontario with a mighty force, remember that your Canadian windows are a long-term investment, so you want to be confident that they are ready for what lies ahead.
If you’re thinking of replacing, new vinyl windows are the perfect solution. They are the ideal material for frame and window hardware because it is virtually unaffected by the elements. Vinyl parts don’t deteriorate or rot over time, and most damaged hardware can be repaired piece by piece without needing to replace the entire unit.