01/06/2010 - There is nothing quite like an icy cold winter day to let you know just how drafty your windows and doors really are. You might be able to ignore these drafts in the summer, but come winter, it can be downright miserable. You shouldn't be shivering inside your home!
There are a number of reasons why you may be feeling drafts around your windows and doors. First, many windows and doors are just one single pane of glass, which simply can't be insulated. Also, most single pane (or old double pane windows) were insulated with a storm window, which kept a layer of air between the window glass and the storm window.
Furthermore, many low-cost windows and doors are still manufactured without insulation between the glass, but even modern double pane window and door products are only truly effective in the cold if they are coated with Low-E and insulated with gas! So these "cheap" windows and doors aren't really a bargain in the long run.
Another major reason for drafty windows and doors is the gaps around the frames. This is due to poor installation. When gaps are left around windows and doors at installation and not properly air sealed, your windows will never be able to keep cold and drafts out. And an improperly hung door, or one with gaps between the door jam and the door itself, will let the cold in too.
Quality window installation is a critical component of any successful window replacement project. Even the highest quality windows will under perform if installed incorrectly. To maximize performance and provide long-term energy efficiency, a replacement window or door must fit perfectly in the opening and be insulated properly.
It's true that weatherproofing measures do help, but in some cases, if your windows and doors are really letting a lot of cold air in, the solution is to replace them with new, modern, energy-efficient ones. Over time, replacement windows and doors pay for themselves, thanks to the energy savings they provide all year long. And today's high-performance windows can help a home achieve ENERGY STAR® qualification.
Today's technology also eliminates the need for ineffective storm windows. For example, new High-Performance&trade Low-E4® SmartSun&trade glass is one of the most energy-efficient glass ever offered. Exclusive to Andersen Replacement Windows, this glass has the highest efficiency rating in cool weather, keeping the expensive heat inside.
Drafty windows and doors just create large holes in your home's energy envelope, wasting money and making life miserable. So keep the winter chill outside where it belongs. Consider having new replacement windows and doors professionally installed this winter.