How to Repair Drafty Windows

Ottawa Window Repair Tips to Keep Your Windows Well-Insulated

Do you have drafty windows? If you felt a cool breeze coming in from your windows this past winter, then there’s likely an air leak.

Drafty windows can cost you in high energy bills throughout the year. These drafts cause your heating system to work harder in winter, and your air conditioning to work overtime in summer.

But there are some simple ways to insulate your windows to reduce drafts. And the spring-cleaning season is a great time to do this work. While cleaning your windows, inspect for drafts and damage. And make the necessary repairs to save on your cooling costs this summer.

Consider the following tips on how to cheaply insulate windows, and when to call window repair professionals.

Inspection Process

To find the source of your window air leaks, inspect the quality of your windows.

The Flame Test

A flame from a candle can help you find the location of air leaks in windows. Slowly move a lit candle around the window frame. If the flame flickers or bends at a certain point along the frame, place a sticky note at that location on the frame. This is where you’ll need to make repairs.

Inspect the Condition of Your Windows

Look for defects such as:

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  • Warped or cracked glass;
  • Loose joints;
  • Damaged or worn-down weatherstripping;
  • Faulty hardware;
  • Rot; and
  • Difficulty opening or closing the window.


DIY Repair Tricks

Caulk the Exterior Window

Use a stiff-blade putty knife to remove old caulk or peeling paint from around the window. Clean with a scrub brush and warm, soapy water. Then wipe dry with a clean cloth.

Next, apply exterior-grade caulk—either 100 percent silicone sealant or siliconized acrylic caulk. When applying the new bead of caulk between the window frame and siding, make sure it’s a continuous seal to block the wind.

Caulk the Interior Window

For small openings in the caulk, you can apply rope caulk for an easy fix.

But if the caulking is old and damaged, remove the old caulking and peeling paint, and clean the interior of the window. Then use a non-toxic indoor latex caulk for the interior of your window. You can apply this caulk:

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  • Around the window trim;
  • Between the trim and frame; and,
  • At the metered joints of the trim.


Apply Weatherstripping to the Interior

Apply V-seal weatherstripping along the sides of the sashes. Windows can still open and close with this weather stripping installed.

Install Window Treatments to Block Drafts

New shades and curtains can block drafts from getting in. Consider using both cellular shades and layered curtains. Cellular shades allow light in while insulating the window. Layered curtains keep drafts out and provide added insulation.

Also, use a draft snake along window sills to block drafts. You can either buy one or make one yourself by filling a tube of fabric—i.e. an old sock—with dry rice and sewing or tying the end closed.

When Should I Call the Pros?

If your windows are worn out, warped, rotted, and/or rattling, then you should consider installing new windows. Contact an Ottawa window repair professional to replace your old windows with new energy-efficient windows.

New windows are worth the investment since they will keep drafts out, maintain a comfortable indoor temperature, and reduce your energy bills throughout the year.

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