Although air is invisible, when it comes to your heating and cooling costs, air loss from windows is clearly visible on your bill. In terms of your heating costs, air loss can account for as much as 25 percent of your bill. Air loss isn't random, but instead is a clear indication that it's likely time to replace your windows. Before this loss starts to affect your bill, make sure you know how to examine your windows for air loss so that you can have them replaced.
Walk up to a window in your home and gently try to shift it back and forth. A window that doesn't budge is a good sign. If you can move your window at all, this is an indication that it's time to replace it.
If you can move the window, this means air can easily pass through and cause your operating costs to increase. Additionally, if you have storm windows installed in this state, they will be less than effective at protecting your home in the event of inclement weather.
Performing an informal pressure test is another way to check for air loss. Before you start, you need to turn on all your bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans and close all vents, windows and doors. You also need to power off any combustion appliances, such as a water heater to crate negative pressure.
Next, light an incense stick and wait for it to start smoking. Then carefully move the stick around the perimeter of the window. If the smoke passes near an area where air is leaking, it will automatically gravitate towards the opening. If you see this occur around your windows, it's time to replace them.
One of the most practical ways to check for an air leak is to perform a light test. The idea behind this test is that where there is light, there is also air. Start by inspecting around the caulking around your window and the frame.
If you can see even a tiny glimpse of light through these areas, air is also passing through. Not only is air passing through, but moisture is also penetrating through the surface. Excess moisture can lead to water damage around the window opening and increase the risk of mold growth.
A window expert can help you resolve this problem in your home by assisting you with the installation of new windows. New windows won't just prevent air loss and keep the temperature inside your home more regulated, but they will also help increase the resale value of your home.