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Update Existing Windows to Improve Efficiency

Windows have always been a weak point when it comes to energy efficiency. They are the reason for the greatest heat loss in the house. However, there are many solutions that can significantly reduce heat loss and new window installation is one of these solutions.

How heat loss through the window occurs:

  1. Due to the thermal conductivity of window structures.
  2. Over infrared radiation.
  3. Heat transfer through the air: cold air enters through the window inward, in turn, warm air flows out through the leaks.

Therefore it is possible to formulate the requirements for energy-saving windows:

  • the frame and the glass unit must have the lowest possible thermal conductivity;
  • glasses should retain thermal infrared rays as much as possible without weakening visible light;
  • correct installing replacement windows and the sealing of the sashes must ensure tightness and exclude any drafts.

Reasons for the deterioration of the heat-saving properties of the window

Over time, the heat-saving characteristics of the window deteriorate. This happens, for example, when the seal loses its elasticity, the hinges and locks wear out, and the window is closed without the previous tightness.

In addition, plastic windows are constantly being improved. The heat-saving characteristics of windows installed 15–20 and more years ago do not meet many modern requirements. The homeowner can not only restore but also improve the performance of the windows.

Let’s see what you can do about this. First, you need to assess the initial state of the energy-efficient windows.

How to assess the state of a window

Examine the window from the inside and outside. Pay special attention to the condition of the seals, the abutment of the slopes both from the inside and outside, check the ebb and sills.

Installing low tide. There should not be any damages on sealing and sealing materials around the entire perimeter of the window. There should be no gaps between the window frame and the opening through which rainwater can flow and blow out the wind.

Double-glazed window. Broken and scratched glass must be replaced without question. If the glass unit fogs up from the inside, this means that it has lost its tightness and you need to do windows replacement.

Open and close the sashes of the window. When moving the flaps, there should be no jamming or distortions. If they are, then the sashes have sagged as a result of wear of the hinges or deformation of the profile. The handles should turn completely and effortlessly.

Check the tightness of the window closure.

Examine the rubber seal of the sash around the entire perimeter: it should be of the same shape, without cracks or delamination, easily wrinkled with your fingers, and immediately return to its original shape.

If you did not find any defects, then your window is in good shape. Wipe the frame and sashes with a soft, damp cloth, lubricate the locking mechanism and the lock hinges with machine oil, treat the seal with a special agent for rubber seals, which can be bought, for example, at any auto parts store.

If you find any of the above problems, window installation or repairs will be required to restore the energy efficiency of the windows.

Repair and insulation of plastic windows

window and radically increase its thermal insulation properties, you can:

  • stick a window sheet that reflects infrared rays on the glass;
  • replace the glass unit with another one with improved characteristics.

Window repair includes the following activities:

  1. Remove damaged sealing materials – polyurethane foam, sealant, etc. Fill the seams with fresh foam, after it has hardened, cut off the excess and additionally cover it with a layer of weather-resistant polyurethane sealant.
  2. Reinforce the ebbs, if necessary replace them with new ones. Seal the junctions through which rainwater can leak under the ebb with the same polyurethane sealant.
  3. Replace the sash seals that have cracked, damaged, and lost their elasticity with new ones.
  4. Adjust the locks and hinges so that the window sashes open and close without jamming. Replace worn and damaged mechanisms. Ensure that the flaps close tightly.
  5. If there are traces of wetting and freezing on the inner slopes, they are opened, the dilapidated polyurethane foam is removed and the seams are filled with a new one. It is advisable not to be limited by half measures, but to perform this operation along the entire perimeter of the window. The dried foam is trimmed with a knife and protected with a self-adhesive vapor barrier tape, which protects the foam from moisture condensation from the side of the room. Then the slopes should be restored.

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