Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Understand How Drafty Windows Can Affect Your HVAC System

During Yuma’s long summer, we keep our windows closed a good bit of the time, not wanting to leak cool air or let the heat in. But outdoor air sometimes gets into the house by way of the door or window frames, while conditioned air leaks out. Generally, we don’t notice these leaks all that much in the summer. However, in winter, cold drafts may be more noticeable. Though our winters are mild, when a cold spell does arrive, we can feel the chilly air as it intrudes through cracks around windows and doors.

Even if your house is relatively new, you may feel more of a draft as the years go by. In the summer months, all may be OK — as your air conditioner cools, you may not feel heat seeping in. It’s the winter months that can get problematic. These cool-air leaks force you into spending extra bucks on higher-than-usual energy bills.

As the seasons change from hot to cold, and with changes in humidity, the structure of windows and doors — especially wooden doors and window frames — can expand and contract with moisture and cold. Seals will weaken over time, and you’ll have drafty windows where you didn’t before. You may feel the need to turn up the thermostat to heat your home, and that’s a waste of energy and money.

So what to do about drafty windows?

Find the Cracks

Find cracks around drafty windows by examining the state of the caulk or weatherstripping. Also, you can feel if drafts are coming in. Some homeowners will light an incense stick to see if it glows when drafts blow in around the window frames or doors. If need be, repair with caulk, weatherstripping, or insulation.

There can also be air leaks around the following places, with these solutions:

  • Electrical outlets. Fit with a foam gasket to stop leaks.
  • Holes in exterior walls for pipes, cables, and wires. Fill with insulation.
  • Baseboards. Caulk.
  • HVAC ducts. Alert your HVAC tech.

If you need more advice about drafty windows, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We serve Yuma and the surrounding area.