Weather seal cover shot

Window Repair Improves Energy Efficiency

Look­ing to improve the ener­gy effi­cien­cy of your win­dows? Win­dow replace­ment isn’t always the answer. Some sim­ple cost sav­ing improve­ments can be made to your exist­ing wood win­dows to improve their effi­cien­cy with­out replac­ing the whole window.


Weather seal cover shot
Weatherstrip close up

There are two basic styles of weath­er­strip­ping that come in many shapes and col­ors, but serve two sim­ple pur­pos­es. A bulb type weath­er­strip is used to pro­vide the ther­mal seal between the sash and the win­dow frame. You would typ­i­cal­ly find this type of weath­er­strip­ping along the edge of the frame on a case­ment win­dow where the sash meets the frame when closed. A bulb is also used on the top and bot­tom edges of dou­ble hung win­dows where the sash meets the sill and head jamb. The oth­er gen­er­al style of weath­er­strip­ping is called a leaf type seal. You find these typ­i­cal­ly on the perime­ter of a case­ment sash. The mis­con­cep­tion is this serves as a ther­mal bar­ri­er. The leaf seal on a case­ment is referred to as the storm shield. This is meant to pre­vent excess wind dri­ven rain, inserts and debris from get­ting in around the sash. It does­n’t pro­vide any sig­nif­i­cant ther­mal value.

By replac­ing the bulb type on your win­dows, you can cut down on drafts around the sash. Many win­dows were sup­plied with a hol­low vinyl bulb that flat­tens out over time. By sim­ply replac­ing this with new, it will return the seal to its orig­i­nal per­for­mance. For an even bet­ter seal, you can upgrade from the hol­low bulb to a foam filled bulb that will take up more space in the gap and cre­ate a tighter seal between the jamb/​sill and the sash.



A com­mon issue with aging win­dows is seal fail­ure. This is the break­down of sealant around the perime­ter of the glass unit allow­ing air and mois­ture to enter in between the panes of glass. The com­mon mis­con­cep­tion here is that there is some sort of gas between the panes of glass. This is not the case with most win­dows old­er than 10 years or so. The addi­tion of argon or kryp­ton gas is rel­a­tive­ly new and still and expen­sive upgrade. Pri­or to that, there is sim­ply dead air­space between the panes of glass cre­at­ing the ther­mal bar­ri­er. A cou­ple things to keep in mind when hav­ing glass replaced. Glass is not brand spe­cif­ic. The IGU, or insu­lat­ed glass unit is a sep­a­rate, pre-sealed com­po­nent of the win­dow that can be removed and replaced with any type of glass unit pro­vid­ed it is the same size and thick­ness. This is your oppor­tu­ni­ty to upgrade the exist­ing glass to new­er tech­nol­o­gy to increase the ener­gy effi­cien­cy of your exist­ing win­dows. With the evo­lu­tion of lowE coat­ings and cool edge spac­er tech­nol­o­gy, you could increase the effi­cien­cy of your exist­ing win­dows by 20 – 30% with­out replac­ing any­thing but the glass…which had failed and need­ed to be replaced any­way! Most new glass comes with a war­ran­ty too!

When con­sid­er­ing upgrad­ing your glass, keep these things in mind. One, upgrad­ing just one piece of glass on a bank of win­dows won’t do any­thing. You need to replace all of the glass in a set of win­dows, and even a step fur­ther, all of the glass in the room to see any sig­nif­i­cant improve­ment. Also, keep in mind, glass with a lowE coat­ing will have a slight tint com­pared to basic clear glass. Now its not tint­ed”. By itself you would­n’t call LowE glass tint­ed, but next to a win­dow with clear glass on a sun­ny day, you will notice a dif­fer­ence. Avoid this by upgrad­ing glass in win­dows that are direct­ly side by side. Final­ly, for the best results, upgrad­ing all of the glass on the south and west expo­sures of the house is the best way to see and feel an increase in ener­gy efficiency.

If ener­gy effi­cien­cy is your pri­ma­ry goal, but your bud­get isn’t ready for new win­dows, con­sid­er these cost effec­tive win­dow repair ideas to upgrade the win­dows you have for a frac­tion of the cost of all new. There’s an old say­ing, They just don’t make them like they used to.” This is true in many respects. New win­dow com­pa­nies push the ener­gy effi­cien­cy of their win­dows. What they don’t tell you is the tech­nol­o­gy is in the glass, not the rest of the win­dow. Its my hum­ble opin­ion that a tra­di­tion­al wood win­dow is far more attrac­tive and warm feel­ing in a home than white plas­tic. If you had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to put the same glass tech­nol­o­gy in your wood win­dow that comes in the new vinyl one, what would you choose?

Vis­it us at https://​www​.rewin​dowre​place​ment​.com to order your weath­er­strip­ping and sash upgrades today!

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