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How to Make Windows More Efficient

In the Harrisburg, Lancaster, York area of Central PA, our weather varies greatly. We probably have about 2-3 weeks out of the year that the weather sits at the perfect 72 degree temperature. It’s such a pleasure to have the windows open and get fresh air in our homes during these perfect-weather days… but the other 50 weeks of the year we must make sure our windows are performing efficiently to not tax our HVAC systems. Here are a few tips to check right now to make window more efficient in your home.

Lock Your Windows

While this may seem like a no-brainer, you’d be shocked to know the number of times that we’ve been in a home to inspect windows and notice air leakage simply because the windows aren’t locked! Locking your windows isn’t just for security, they also make windows more efficient.

Casement windows (sometimes called “crank-out” windows) have at least one lock to latch that pulls the sash of the window into the window frame. Without pulling this window into the frame itself by locking it, the weatherstripping, seals and caskets do not perform to their optimum capacity.


Double hung windows often have an interlocking sash system. Locking your windows pulls the sashes together and creates a strong seal. Though older styles may not have this feature, it’s still recommended to lock the window to help prevent air infiltration.

Check for Seal Failure

If you already have double pane or triple pane windows installed in your home and your windows look like the picture below, you have “seal failure.”

Make Windows More Efficient
Window Seal Failure

Seal failure occurs when the spacer system on a window fails, allowing air to get between the panes of glass. You’ll notice in the picture above that this often looks like several spots on the glass. Simply put, if you can’t touch the spots (since they are between the panes) you have seal failure. Oftentimes homeowners think they have seal failure when it’s really just condensation on the exterior or interior of the window.

If you’re experiencing seal failure, your windows will not perform as well as they should. Your two options to fix this issue are:

  • Replace the glass (read more about that option here)
  • Replace the whole window to make windows more efficient

Not only is seal failure unsightly, it’s probably costing you. Your HVAC system works a little harder to heat or cool air that escapes, making it work overtime.

Weatherstripping and Caulking Your Windows

A quick, easy fix to make windows more efficient is to simply replace weatherstripping that may be worn out. Then, check the window caulking to ensure no visible gaps need maintenance.

Most weatherstripping kits are just a few dollars at your local home improvement store and you can install them relatively easily.

Here’s a quick video to show you a few tips about caulking and weatherstripping your windows.


If you’ve tried all these efforts and still feel your windows may need to be replaced, drop us a line.  We’ll give you an online quote in about 5 minutes for your project.

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