Posted by Manny DeMelo on February 7th, 2019

Snowflakes against a windowDuring a typical Canadian winter, there’s nothing we love more than hibernating in our houses to ward off the cold. But are problems with your windows making the inside of your home feel a little bit too much like the weather outside?

Keep reading to learn about three challenges you may face with your windows this winter and what you can do to solve them.

1. Drafts

Have you ever walked past a window in your home and felt a sudden chill? Do you find yourself cranking up the furnace more often than you feel you should need to? If so, a drafty window may be blame.

If you suspect this is the case, there are a few simple actions you can take to check:

  • One of the quickest approaches is to simply run your hand around the window sash and casing to feel for active breezes.
  • For a more precise diagnosis, you can use a lighter. Again, simply move it around the edges of your windows (holding it far enough that the flame won’t touch any surfaces, but close enough that it will respond to air movement). If you see the flame flicker in certain spots, that suggests an air leak or air leaks.
  • Another option is tissue paper. Like with the lighter, watch for unexpected movements caused by outside air getting in as you’re moving it around.

Depending on the nature of the problem, there are two solutions you should try first:

  • Apply a silicone sealant to any gaps in the caulking. If the caulking is too far gone for this fix, it may need to be cut out and replaced.
  • Replace weatherstripping that has become worn or is missing.

Keep in mind that if air infiltration is especially pronounced at the exterior edges of the window casing, your issue may be with the insulation around the window rather than the window itself. If you are concerned about this, get in touch with an experienced home contractor to assess your situation and provide guidance on what next steps you can take.

If your windows are getting older and band-aid fixes are no longer solving the problems, that’s a sign that it’s time to upgrade to new, energy-efficient windows.

2. Condensation

This can actually be a problem year-round, though it’s important to emphasize that not all condensation is a problem.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the moisture on the inside of your window? If your answer is yes, you likely don’t need to be concerned. The cause in this case is typically excessive humidity inside your home and not a problem with the window.
  • Is the moisture on the outside of your window? If your answer is yes, you shouldn’t be concerned. This is something you’ll usually see in the summer when the window is cooler than the dew point outside and doesn’t indicate a problem with the window itself.
  • Is the moisture between your window panes? If your answer is yes, this should raise red flags. The most common culprit here is a broken seal, which suggests a problem with the window itself that needs to be remedied through a window replacement.

Check out our earlier blog to see more tips for eliminating window condensation

3. Rotted, Warped, or Cracked Wooden Frames

This could be caused not only by the age of the window, but also by the unpredictable winter weather and sometimes severe temperature fluctuations that plague those of us in Southern Ontario.

Depending on the severity of the damage, a temporary solution could be cutting out the affected wood and applying an epoxy to fill it. Ultimately, however, you’ll need to plan for a window replacement to provide a long-term fix that will keep energy bills in check throughout the year and keep you warm all winter long.


At Quality Exteriors, we are experts at helping you find the ENERGY STAR windows that will fit your home and save you money.  Contact us today to request a free in-home consultation!

Serving homeowners in St. Catharines, Niagara, Hamilton, Burlington, and Oakville.

Like this? You might also like:

Manny DeMelo

About Manny DeMelo

Manny DeMelo is the CEO and Owner of Quality Exterior Systems. His extensive knowledge in construction, gained through over 20 years in the industry, has made him an excellent mentor as well as an expert in his work.