You will often see your energy bill creep higher during the winter months. This is especially true if you deal with a very cold winter in your local area. However, if you see a drastic increase in your energy bill, this may indicate that you are losing the heat that your furnace puts out, and cold air is making its way into your home. The main culprit could be leaking windows.
WINDOWS AND HEAT LOSS
Even if your windows look great, you could be dealing with heat loss. If you have older windows in your home, this is especially true. Over time, the panes can loosen and allow heat to go out the windows. There may also be cracks and other damage that you might not see with the naked eye. Due to this air loss, your furnace will work harder to heat your home. This will cause the unit to run more which will increase your utility bills.
HOW TO CHECK FOR LEAKING WINDOWS
The best way to check to see if you have leaking windows is to check for cracks and holes. Walk around both the inside and outside of your windows. Look for light coming through and feel for any air. The easiest way to do this is during the day. You will need to cut off all the lights in your home and then look at your windows. If you see any daylight coming in, you have an issue with cracks. If you feel any cold air coming from your windows, you have cracks and will need to repair or replace the windows.
You can also do a flame test with a candle to check for leaking windows. Light the candle and then go around the outline of your window. If you notice that the smoke and flame pull towards a certain direction, you have found an air leak. If you cannot tell whether or not the smoke is moving, get someone to go outside with a hairdryer and trace the outline of the window. If the flame flickers, there is air flowing through.
The final way to test for leaking windows is to rent a thermal camera. Typically, your local hardware store will have these for rent. A thermal camera will allow you to determine if you are losing heat from your windows. Another plus side of using a thermal camera is that it can help you detect leaks in your ductwork and help you find out if there is any missing insulation in your home.
REPAIRING OR REPLACING LEAKING WINDOWS
If you can find the cracks and your windows are newer, you can repair them yourself, or you can have a professional come out and do it for you. Typically, these cracks can be filled with caulk, which will help keep the air out. It is also important to have weather stripping in place as well. If you have older windows and you are not in a position to replace your windows, you will want to consider adding some kind of protectant during the winter months like plastic. They sell winterization kits at your local hardware store that can help you prevent air loss.
If you have older windows or your windows are beyond repair, you will want to consider replacing them. While the initial cost of replacing your windows can be hard to do, it will be well worth it in the end. If you keep operating your HVAC system with leaking windows, you will continue seeing increased energy bills. During very cold months, you may see a significant increase. In addition to dealing with increased energy bills, your furnace will have to run frequently, which can cause wear and tear. This may lead to more frequent and expensive repairs, as well as the premature death of your system. You never want to overwork your unit, so if you have leaking windows, look at getting them replaced. Getting new windows will also add curb appeal and help to increase the value of your home.
When it comes to heating your home, you will want to do all that you can to ensure that the heat circulating your home stays in. In addition to ensuring that your windows are in good shape, you will want to make sure that your furnace is properly maintained, the ductwork is in good shape, and that the air filter is changed regularly.
At Campbell Comfort Systems, we can help to ensure that your heating system is working efficiently and correctly. We offer heating and cooling repairs, installation, and maintenance, along with water heater installation and air quality checks. We proudly serve the Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and Salem County areas. Please call us today for an estimate or any of your heating needs!