The ability to keep your Wichita, Kansas home warm during the winter with a simple push of a thermostat button is something you probably do without even thinking about it. However, go back in time 100 years, and keeping the inside of your home warm was a challenge. It is easy to take the little things that go into keeping your home warm for granted until they fail and your home becomes uncomfortable.
If you find it challenging to keep your home warm during the winter, you may have poorly insulated doors or windows. Your windows do more than decorate your home. They serve as a barrier to prevent outdoor weather conditions from affecting indoor temperatures.
If your windows are high-quality and provide proper insulation, they will counteract outdoor temperatures and stop them from affecting your home’s interior temperature. Conversely, poorly insulated windows can seriously affect the internal temperature of your home and your comfort level. Poorly insulated windows can cause issues ranging from increased energy costs to structural water damage.
Do Leaky Windows Truly Affect How My Home Is Heated?
Yes. Insufficient window insulation forces your central heater to work harder and longer to keep the temperature inside your home comfortable. Heat is naturally attracted to colder objects until temperatures are equalized. This is called radiation.
Leaky and poorly insulated windows lead to heat loss through conduction. Conduction is when heat passes through glass looking for cooler temperatures. If you have single-pane windows, it is easy for the heat to travel through the glass and negatively impact the temperature in your home.
If your windows are older or not appropriately sealed, cold air from the outside is constantly infiltrating your home. These conduits also serve as ways for hot air to escape your home.
A well-known heat property is that it will travel toward cold glass. When the glass lowers the temperature of your indoor heated air, the cooled air travels to the floor. Poorly insulated windows force your home’s heating system to work overtime. This increases energy costs and puts a strain on your heating unit’s capacity.
The Downside of Drafty Windows
Do you need to use wool socks and a warm blanket to stay warm during the winter even though you have your heater turned on? If so, it is likely that a leaky window is to blame.
Some homeowners will confuse a leaky window with conduction. As mentioned, when the heat from your home comes into contact with the window, the air is cooled and then pushed down. This process can feel like there is a cold draft. But a genuine leaky window has gaps or cracks around the window seal that allows cool air to enter and warm air to escape.
If cold air is constantly finding its way into your home, your furnace must work at full bore to keep your home mildly warm. In the end, you will spend more money on energy costs. However, increased energy bills are not the only problem.
An overworked HVAC system will wear down more quickly, leading to unexpected repairs and maintenance. If your HVAC system is forced to work harder than it should, you will need to replace it earlier than estimated. You will be left with the expense of purchasing a new system. At Fahnestock HVAC, our experienced technicians can help you evaluate how efficiently your HVAC system is working, make necessary repairs, and recommend ways to minimize heat loss in your home.
Leaky Windows and Humidity Issues
You are likely more aware of the temperature on your thermostat than the humidity levels in your home. However, your home’s humidity levels are a critical factor in the comfort, health, and well-being of your home’s occupants.
When humidity levels plummet, your home’s occupants have to deal with dry eyes, nosebleeds, dry skin, etc. If humidity levels are too high, mold, mildew, and allergens can grow in your home. This can be dangerous, especially if someone in your family has severe respiratory illnesses.
What does this have to do with drafty windows? Improperly installed windows let moist air escape from your home, lowering the humidity level. Conversely, it can allow excessive humidity into your home during the summer, leading to mold and mildew growth.
Your HVAC system is designed to remove excess moisture from the air during the summer and keep humidity levels balanced during the winter. However, it might not be able to keep pace with all of the air coming in from outside or the air escaping out your windows. This could cause your HVAC system to be forced to work overtime, leading to premature breakdowns and expensive repairs.
How to Tell If You Have Leaky Windows
First, see if your windows open and close properly. A properly installed and adequately insulated window should open and close smoothly. If you have any issues, this is an indication that seals could be broken, leading to energy loss in your home.
Look at the caulking around your windows. It should be smooth. If it’s uneven, this could indicate cracks around your window frame. All it takes is a small gap for cold winter air to come in and warm interior air to escape. If there is an issue with one of your windows, there is likely a problem with several of them. You can check this with a candle — light it and slowly move it around the outside of each window. You will see the flame dance where air is coming in.
Look at the window frame and windowsill. There should not be any gaps between them. If you see a gap below the window, you know that the installation was not done well or some damage has occurred. Either way, it will result in heat loss.
Look at the windowpanes. Do you see fog developing between panes? If condensation is on the inside of the windowpane, it means that a seal has broken or that the window is not correctly installed. Regardless of the issue, this is a reliable indication that your windows are negatively impacting the heating in your home.
Windows are the largest opening in your home. By keeping your windows in mind, you will be able to keep your home at a comfortable temperature throughout the winter without worrying about wasting money and energy.
Comprehensive HVAC Services for Wichita, Kansas Residents
For more than six decades, Fahnestock HVAC has provided reliable HVAC services for residents of Wichita and the surrounding communities. Our goal has been and continues to be to provide the best in plumbing, air conditioning, and electrical services. We are proud to be the one-stop shop for your comfort needs.
Our technicians are NATE certified and provide the best plumbing, electrical, and HVAC services around. Whether it’s new construction, remodeling, residential, or commercial, we have the experience, tools, and dedication to handle just about any service needed.
Contact us if you need furnace repair or heating system replacement or maintenance. We offer air conditioning repair, replacement, and maintenance as well. Our electrical services cover new and existing installations. We are available for all of your emergency repair needs.
You have dedicated too much time and energy to your home for it not to be as comfortable as you want it to be. Contact Fahnestock HVAC today. We will get your home feeling right again.