Cool Draft Coming From Windows

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Posted by: from Mississauga
1/26/2011 at 4:25:07 PM

I have 4 double pane windows in the family room that seems to be producing a draft. This is not only an energy concern but these windows are right behind our couch where we watch TV, sending the draft right against our necks. The home is only 8yrs old and the windows seem to be of good quality. Is there a simple solution to fix this? I was looking at those window wrap systems but i don't like the idea of applying two way tape to the window frame that will most likely be impossible to remove.

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Date/Time1/26/2011 at 11:23:26 PM

Hi Troy

A dual pane window shouldn't be giving you a draft, bets are that behind your window trims have minimal insulation if any. I use a hilti spray foam however dap makes a window spray foam in a blue can that dosent expand to much. That should cut down on draft alot in your residence.

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Date/Time1/27/2011 at 10:36:09 AM

Remove your window trim and buy window and door spray foam from the local building supply. Follow directions on can and wait for one hour or so to let product dry,then cut off any protruding foam. Then take a roll of foil tape and seal the spray foam and re install the trim.

For smaller cracks that spray foam nozzle/straw won't fit,use Alex plus caulking and follow with foil tape.

The foil tape is over kill but I look at it as the final seal.

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Metro Ontario Contractors inc in Maple
Date/Time1/28/2011 at 4:51:45 PM

remove trim from windows and spray foam insulation.if builder installed windows,it may only have only have r-12 insulation.also outside caulking may have cracked.if so remove and re caulk with exterior caulking. l hope this helps.always here to help a potential customer.

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Date/Time1/28/2011 at 8:11:45 PM

The responses above are all correct. You should remove the trim and use spray foam to fill in any caps. Re-install the trim and caulk around the trim. In the spring, go outside and caulk around your window.


Kingsway Construction Inc.

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Date/Time2/1/2011 at 4:12:02 PM

I think most of your cold air draft problems can be eliminated with removing the trims, applying "window and door" spray foam insulation, reinstalling the trim, and caulking them. With sliders or casements, make sure that they are fully closed, check seals, and then when weather permits apply caulking/window sealant to the exterior. You could purchase at your local hardware store temperature readers/coldair detectors so that you can also check areas around the house for air leaks.

Good luck.

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Ross from Saro Designs in Whitby
Date/Time2/2/2011 at 1:22:25 PM

I agree with everyone comments about the insulation around the windows. However, there is one possibility for the draft that no one has mentioned. That is, convection air. We all no know warm air rises and holds moisture in the form of humidity. However, for some reason we forget that when warm air cools it flows downward and releases the moisture in the form of condensation (you may notice this on the glass of your windows). This is what is known as convection air. The warm air inside the house flows upwards towards the ceiling but cold glass of the window cools that warm air and produces what can sometimes be referred to as a draft. The best way to combat this would be the use of curtains because they will provide a "thermal break" between the cold glass from the window and the warm air flowing within the house. Remember this, although the windows may be fine, the R value of the walls is probably R12 or better but the glass at most is probably only R2-R5 at best - assuming you have windows originally installed by the builder. I have yet to see windows who"s glass has an R value similar or better than the walls of the house - if I am wrong, please send me the info. I love learning new things.


Ross @ Saro Designs

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Date/Time2/5/2011 at 2:57:10 PM

Hi Troy I've found in the past ,If you rely on spray foam to do its job mission accomplished .If you want it doing both jobs I found it fails at both.What I mean is 1) hold the window in place & 2) insulate 9 times out of 10 either to much spray foam added or not enough

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Mike from M2R Enterprises in Newmarket
Date/Time2/8/2011 at 9:11:16 AM

Troy, it's worth noting that even energy efficient windows only provide an insulation value of R3 to R4. A wall assembly, depending upon exterior cladding and quality of insulation, is at least R-15. The builder may have sealed and insulated around the windows effectively but it will feel colder in front of the windows. This is just a function of the minimal insulating effect of glass.

To lessen the effect you can add curtains or drapes in front of the windows to add an insulation layer.

Mike Himelfarb

M2R Enterprises.

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