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Effective Methods on How to Stop Draughts From uPVC Windows

During the chilly winter months, you may notice draughts entering through your windows and doors, even when closed, which anyone would not want to face during snowy nights. We’ve compiled some tips for stopping draughts from uPVC windows.

It is a low-cost but effective solution to draught-proof your windows; it will reduce the draughts of cold air in your home and collinearly improve the home’s energy efficiency by reducing costs related to heating solutions. It helps in lowering house maintenance costs in the long run.

Draughtproofing your home has numerous benefits, the prime one being that it saves you plenty of money on your energy bills. Doing so reduces the risk of mould entering your home, which might cause health issues. As mentioned, Draughtproofing lets you control ventilation much more efficiently, saving you money on your central heating bills.

Factors leading to draughty windows

‘What causes draughts from uPVC windows’ might arise in your mind. Here is our take explaining some of the most common reasons for draughts through windows.

In most cases, draughts can be a sign that your uPVC windows have reached the end of their lifespan.

In addition, the older uPVC windows could be more thermally efficient and draughtproof than modern ones. The quality and durability have improved along the way through these years of development in uPVC windows: today’s uPVC windows are much less draughty and long-lasting.

The modern uPVC windows bring the enchanting elegance of traditional windows with all the benefits of facilities, such as maintenance-free security and excellent energy efficiency.

How To Prevent Draughts in uPVC Windows

Draught-proofing treatment for doors and windows is essential for homes in regions where winters are frigid and windy.

To know where your windows need draught-proofing, you should check the gaps between the window and its frame, the caulk on the window frame’s exterior, and the holes around locks or catches.

You can set it accordingly when figuring out where the window needs draught-proofing. The job of draught-proofing of uPVC windows can be broadly classified into two categories:

  • Draught-proofing of windows which open
  • Draught proofing of windows which do not open

Draught-proofing of windows which open

First, we shall talk about the uPVC windows most vulnerable to draught leaks through them, the openable windows in your home. Since they have hinges and other movable joints, they might wear away quickly, causing air gaps. Hence it is required to fill the gaps between the frame and the window panels with draught-proofing strips, which you can buy from any hardware store.

Similar results could be achieved using self-adhesive foam, metal, or plastic strips. Here are some essential points which you need to consider when purchasing a draught-proofing strip:

  • Foam strips are more reasonably priced and often easier to put in, but they are less durable than metal and plastic strips.
  • Metal and plastic strips usually have wipers or brushes attached to them for extra insulation, but they are comparatively more costly than self-adhesive foam strips.

When you buy the strips, you must be conscious of selecting the correct size for the gap width between the window frame and panel. If the strip is undersized, it will not be very effective.

If it is too big, the strip will hang out and eventually get crushed while closing the window and leaving space in between for draughts to enter through.

Besides, it must also be noted that foam strips are often not suitable for sliding sash windows.

Draught proofing of windows which do not open

Windows which are not openable do not show signs of draught entering through in a long time. But when you face such an issue, you must know it is high time to change these windows but as a temporary remedy, these can be draught proofed by sealing the draughty frame gaps with a silicone-based sealant.

When you have found the gaps, it is essential to first clean them to get rid of dirt and dust, as contaminants might lower the durability of the sealant.

It is essential to apply a release agent before using a sealant to prevent the part of the window that touches the frame from sticking to the window itself.

Overall here are some standard practices which can help prevent draughts from passing through frame gaps in your windows, regardless of their type -

Installing weather-stripping

Weather-stripping is readily available in online stores and hardware stores. The strips are easy to install; just peel and stick them around your window frame, and they’ll act as a layer of insulation. Ideally, it would help if you only used weather-stripping as a temporary fix. Weather-stripping is not a permanent solution because it must be replaced every year as it is not durable. Hence, this solution will only mask the real problem rather than fix it.

Maintaining the locks, hinges and hardware

Occasionally, a window can become draughty due to the hinges gathering dirt over time or forming rust. If you clean it properly at least once a year, you could avoid the problems like window hinges becoming misaligned or leaving sealant gaps. If you’ve cleared out dirt and you’re still experiencing draughts, it could be a sign of further damage to the hardware.

It’s common for old uPVC windows to experience damage to the locks and hinges. You can check for such problems by simply closing and opening the window hinges and checking for air gaps between the sash and the frame. If you find such air gaps, it points to the fact that your hinges are damaged or have become faulty.

You should address issues as soon as possible and fix them as quickly as possible, as such minor issues elevate into major faults which might cost a lot more to fix later.

If your window lock is faulty and preventing the window from closing, your home insurance will be void as stated by most insurance agencies. This is one of the primary reasons you might consider replacing the locking system or the window unit completely.

You can test your lock’s tightness and latching capability simply by sliding a credit card through the gap between the sash and the frame; if you notice it is moving freely, your lock needs to be tightened.

Replace your windows

If draughts in your home are ongoing, consider replacing your entire window unit. Although replacing the windows in your home might come up as a costly commitment, you can rest assured that it is a worthwhile investment when you intend to sell your home. It shall also save you a considerable amount annually on your energy bills.

If you have visual damage to your window frames or the glass, you must replace the window as soon as possible. Any prior injuries in your window, regardless of how minor they might be, will cause weak spots and leave your home vulnerable to burglars’ intrusion. If the damages are visible on the exterior, it can be a welcome invitation for intruders.

Advancements in uPVC windows have led to much stronger frames that will be draught-free for their lifespan.

Alternate measures

If draught-proofing your windows has not worked, or your windows are old/in terrible condition, you may need to take more drastic action. Draught problems usually are persistent and not repairable in older windows. Here are your window improvement options.

Add secondary glazing

If your windows are single-glazed, keeping your home warm and preventing draughts from oozing through from the outside of your home will be challenging.

While the most effective solution would be to install double or triple glazing, an alternative explanation for people who cannot afford the cost of such an expensive remedy, or it might just be that you live in a listed property/conservation area, in which case installing secondary glazing would be a useless expenditure.

This said, adding a second pane of glass to the window will improve heat and noise insulation without changing the character of the property.

Replace with double or triple glazing

Replacing your old windows with new, energy-efficient double glazing is the best way to insulate your home and reduce heating costs.

Double-glazed windows are sealed units containing two glass panes with an air gap in between them. The gap is filled with an insulating gas such as Argon which makes your home more comfortable, cheaper to heat, and more secure as the windows are harder to break.

Triple glazing takes this insulation and protection to another level, as they include three glass panes and two gas layers.


While the odd draught through a window may not seem urgent, if several windows in your home let hot air escape and cold air inside, you will be paying more than you need to for heating and wasting energy.

Depending on the severity of the draughts, you may also feel cold, which is uncomfortable and potentially dangerous for vulnerable people. If you think the air is colder near your windows and you can feel a draught, then yes, draught-proofing is recommended.

If your windows have exceeded their lifetime, you need to upgrade to new ones, making your home more cosy and relatively cheaper to heat. Your next job is to get quotes from windows installers in your area. You must compare quotes from at least five companies to ensure getting the best-negotiated price, but this research can take time.

Moreover, draught-free homes are way more comfortable even at freezing temperatures, so you can lower your thermostat temperature by a degree or two, saving even more energy bills!

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