For homeowners looking to save money on heating and cooling, every penny counts, especially during the summer and winter months. You might be fastidious about cutting corners in every other area of your life, but when it comes to protecting your home and protecting your wallet, not attending to a leaky window could be hurting your bank account more than you think. Even if you assume a few small drafts here and there are nothing to worry about, there are major benefits to nipping even minor issues in the bud before they end up causing damage to your home’s infrastructure. Whether you’re trying to find a quick DIY fix for your window leaks or checking out Renewal by Andersen for a brand new set of home windows, one thing’s for certain: You don’t want air leaks and drafts compromising your home’s internal temperature for long. If you’re skeptical about just how much you’re losing per year on leaks, here’s the breakdown.
Heating Costs Per Year
When cold air is leaking from your windows, you’re not just dealing with general unpleasantness. Over time, your leaky windows are causing you to way overpay on heating and gas bills. In terms of how much money you’re losing, it depends on the size of the leak and the general insulation of your home, but most homeowners end up overpaying by 5 to 10 percent through the year. That can translate to hundreds of dollars if your house is already large and hard to heat. But don’t worry: If you have a leaky window, there are plenty of ways to correct the problem. The most effective way to seal leaks is to remove your window and add weatherstripping and any extra insulation you might need in the space between window and wall. The more empty space there is in your window’s border, the easier it will be for cold air to make its way into drafty windows. Creating an airtight seal shouldn’t be hard. Using a rubber seal or caulking, you can plug up any leaks around your window to make sure everything is sealed for the winter. The only downside is that caulking does have a tendency to erode over time, so you’ll need to keep going in and re-weatherstripping your windows every winter. When the summer comes around and you’re feeling in the mood for a breeze, remove the weatherstripping and let your window breathe.
In the winter, your heating bills are going to skyrocket no matter what. But when it comes to cold air escaping from your windows, there’s simply no need to keep losing money for months on end. The average homeowner loses up to $200 each winter on heating bills for inefficiently-insulated spaces. That means that if your windows aren’t doing their job, the winter months could cost you a fortune. If weatherizing your windows hasn’t done the job and you’re still dealing with drafts, you might want to consider investing in new windows. Aside from seeing an obvious crack or leak in your window, certain older models have a shorter shelf life of around 20 years. They also tend to be less energy efficient, which means that even when they’re working at full force, they’re not doing the best at blocking out drafts as double-paned energy efficient windows are engineered to do. Newer windows come not only with a low-E coating to help you get the most out of the sun’s natural heat, they’re built with a compressed pane of glass in between the inner and outer window pane which works hard to keep heated air in and cold, wintry gusts out.
Possible Long-Term Costs
The bad news is, if you’re working with inefficient windows, you’re not just paying too much for your winter heating bills. Over time, you could be doing serious damage to your home. When cold air gets in, it makes way for other wintry byproducts like water leaks and condensation. If your home is exposed to this for too long, it could start to weaken the internal structure and cause costly, risky problems like mold and mildew buildup or even structural rot. Windows are built to keep things like dirt, water, and cold air out so that your house stays as strong as possible. If you delay fixing a broken or leaky window, or if your weatherproofing simply hasn’t worked, you could be setting yourself up for a much larger, more expensive problem. Remember: Even though the upfront cost of a new, energy-efficient window can seem daunting, it’s nothing compared to what you’ll have to pay after years of water damage and structural issues.