Quality Window & Door Blog

Are Double Hung Windows Drafty?

Are you thinking about replacing your windows? Perhaps you’ve heard rumors that double hung windows are notoriously drafty, and if that’s true, you want to steer clear of them. Maybe you’re already dealing with drafty windows and want a way to fix them. Windows are a driving force behind home comfort and energy bills, so it’s wise to address this problem.

What Makes Double Hung Windows Drafty?

All windows have the potential to become drafty with age, but double hung versions are particularly susceptible because they have more moving parts than other types of windows. Here’s what’s liable to go wrong with double hung windows:

  • Single-pane windows are drafty from day one.
  • The sashes can shrink and wear out with age, letting cold air in around the frame.
  • Gaskets, caulk, and weatherstripping can wear out and crack with age, preventing the window from closing tightly.
  • If your windows are old enough to have individual panes separated by muntins, the glazing putty may become brittle and fall away, causing each pane to rattle when the wind blows. A rattling window is a drafty window.

Easy Fixes for Drafty Double Hung Windows

Investing a little time and effort to repair your drafty double hung windows will improve home comfort and lower your energy bills. Here are some fixes you can implement right away to help tighten up old, drafty windows:

  • Install weatherstripping: Remove any cracked weatherstripping to give yourself a clean surface to work with. Then, cut the plastic rope to the proper length and stick it to both sashes where they close against the frame.
  • Re-caulk the window: This sticky product is applied from a canister to any stationary joint that has started to crack and allow air to leak in.
  • Seal off winter drafts with shrink film: If you’re confident you won’t want to open your windows all winter long, cover them with clear plastic sheeting applied with double-sided tape. When heated with a hair dryer, this film shrinks drum-tight and acts as an insulating buffer against wintertime drafts.

Long-Term Ways to Fix Drafty Double Hung Window

When you have a little more time on your hands, and you’re ready to invest in more permanent repairs for your drafty double hung windows, consider these two options:

  • Install storm windows: This is a great fix for single-pane windows and those with genuine muntins separating individual panes in each sash. Storm windows essentially add another layer of glazing to insulate against drafts at a lower cost than replacing the windows. You probably only need storm windows in the winter, so plan to install them in the fall and remove them in the spring.
  • Replace your windows: When other attempts to fix drafty double hung windows prove insufficient, you may want to replace them. Modern frame materials, advanced glazing options, and convenient cleaning features make now a good time to upgrade, especially if your drafty windows are also worn or rotten.

Quality Window & Door Offers a Wide Selection of Replacement Windows

If you live in the DC, Maryland or Virginia areas, Quality Window & Door is your source for replacement double hung windows. In fact, we sell and install all types of windows from today’s leading manufacturers. If you want to stick with double hung windows, great! If not, we can widen the existing opening and install the type of window that suits your needs best.

To view the selection we offer, please visit one of our local showrooms in Maryland and Northern Virginia. We’re also happy to schedule a free in-home consultation when you’re ready to replace those drafty double hung windows once and for all.

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