Does uneven heating cause some rooms in your home to stay warmer than others? Maybe your furnace simply struggles to adequately heat your home when the weather gets colder. These heating issues could be a result of air leaks around your windows and doors. Although it may seem like a minor problem, leaky windows can have a huge impact on your home’s heating system in the following ways.
Energy Waste and Heat Loss
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that air leaks are directly responsible for a large percentage of the energy used to heat and cool the average home. Lack of insulation and leaky ductwork both contribute to this problem, but leaky windows and doors can have as much of or an even greater impact. Window leaks are one of the primary sources of heat loss in many homes, and this is especially true if your home is older or still uses old single-pane windows.
If your windows and doors are not well sealed on the inside and outside, it creates air gaps that allow all of the cold air from outside to seep into the building. Similar issues can arise if a home has single-pane windows in some or all of the rooms. Old single-pane windows often leak air around the frame or glass, but they also suffer from issues with a lack of insulation. A single pane of glass simply cannot cope with cold temperatures. Cold air outside cools down the glass in the window, and much of this cold is then transferred inside the building.
All of these problems can lead to a huge amount of energy waste. As a result, you’ll end up spending far more on heating (and air conditioning) than you would if your windows were well sealed and well insulated.
Increased Wear and Tear on Your Heating Equipment
Leaky windows can also cost you in other ways unrelated to your energy bills. If your home is well-sealed and has sufficient insulation, your furnace should only need to run occasionally and for short periods once the house is up to temp. However, all of that heat loss from your leaky windows means that your furnace will need to run more frequently and for longer to keep your home at the desired temperature. Air leaks can also make it nearly impossible for your heating system to keep up when the weather gets too cold. As a result, your furnace could end up running constantly.
These issues result in increased wear and tear on your heating equipment, which can lead to a more frequent need for repairs. If your furnace has to run much more than it should, it can also drastically shorten its lifespan. This means it may break down and need to be replaced much sooner than you’d planned.
The Benefits of Resealing or Replacing Your Windows
The easiest way to ensure that your windows and doors are free from air leaks is to inspect them regularly. Identifying leaks is usually as simple as feeling around the windows with your hands on a cold day. If you notice cold air coming in, you should inspect the caulking or sealant around the inside and outside of all windows and doors, as well as the weather-stripping. If any of the caulking is missing, cracked, or damaged, you should scrape all of the old sealant off and caulk the windows again. Similarly, you should replace the weather-stripping if it is missing or damaged or if you feel air coming in underneath any windows or doors.
If you can afford it, replacing your old windows is always the best way to go. Newer windows, especially double- or triple-pane, are far more energy efficient and suffer from fewer issues with leaks. By replacing your old windows, you can instantly make your home much more energy efficient and eliminate many issues with heat loss. If you can’t currently afford to replace your single-pane windows, you might consider using a plastic shrink-wrap window kit to seal your windows during the winter to minimize heat loss.
Expert Heating Services and More
If you are looking for other ways to improve the efficiency of your home’s heating system, the experienced team at Cardwell Heating and Air Conditioning can help. We are located in Cherry Hill and provide a full range of heating services to customers throughout southern New Jersey. Our HVAC technicians also specialize in ductless AC and central AC repairs, maintenance, and installation. For more information on improving your home’s heating efficiency, contact Cardwell Heating and Air Conditioning today.