How to investigate your windows for air and water leaks [Infographic]

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When was the last time you inspected the state of the windows in your house? If you can’t remember, you might want to add it to your to-do list. Why? Because improperly insulated windows may account for as much as 25 percent of your home’s total heat loss. And water leaks can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs.

To ensure you’re not spending more money than absolutely necessary, it is highly recommended that you inspect the windows throughout your home for water and air leaks. But if this is something you’ve never done before, you might need a little guidance to ensure you’re doing it correctly. Below are some tips on how to go about it and what to look for.

Air leaks
• Thoroughly examine the frame, sill and other areas of the window where edges meet.
• Be sure to check the caulking and weather stripping, both internally and externally, for any deterioration.
• When it’s dark, shine a flashlight on the window from inside your home and have someone else stand outside to see whether or not light is visible through any cracks.
• Give the windows a little shake. If you’re able to move them without too much force, it’s a red flag that there’s an air leak.

Window leaks
• The three most important areas to check are the window head (structure located at the top, acting as a protective barrier), vertical trimming (the sides) and the sill.
• Inspect carpets, subflooring and tack strips for any mold or water stains.
• Take notice of fogging or condensation appearing between window panes. If this happens, it’s typically a sign that the insulating glass seal isn’t working properly.

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