Those cold drafts leaking through your awning window might not mean your entire window needs to be replaced. When you know what possible defects to look for, you have a better chance of resolving the problem quickly, easily and inexpensively without having to hire a professional for repairs.
Try these easy fix-it ideas first to help give your awning window a tighter seal and better energy efficiency all year long.
Replace The Weather Stripping
Odds are your awning window is losing heat because of some slight structural damage to the frame or hardware, if the windows are many years old. However, if you’ve done a thorough check and the window elements all seem sound and sealed, it might just be the weather stripping around the window that needs to be replaced.
The local home improvement store will likely have inexpensive foam insulation weather stripping in stock. It’s very handy for DIY projects, as it comes ready to install with a self-adhesive side. Just make sure the window and stops are cleaned and dry, and then press the foam stripping into place. This type of weather stripping provides a quick and easy fix for a drafty awning window that is otherwise in great condition.
Inspect The Jamb Seals
An awning window uses compression seals in the form of jamb seals to keep them air tight when closed. Find the jamb seals in your window (attached to the window jamb) and note if they are damaged or overly worn. If they are, replace them and see if that helps keeps less heat from escaping.
You might have plastic jamb seals that would work better in a different material like silicone rubber. Ask a knowledgeable hardware store or home improvement store clerk which compression seal materials would be recommended for the jamb seals in your awning window.
Check The Awning Window Hinges
Just the action of opening and closing a casement window hundreds of times over years of use can loosen the hinges and cause a draft to slip through. Try tightening the screws in the entire awning window hinges first and see if that does the trick.
Otherwise, it’s possible the hinges are simply bent and you’ll need to replace them. Especially if you have trees or large bushes growing near the awning window, leaves and small twigs can sometimes get stuck between the jamb and the sash. Over time, that can bend the hardware holding your window in place. Bent hinges loosen the window seal and can make those chilly winter nights a whole lot chillier.
Is The Crank Working Properly?
Before you make expensive repairs or consider replacing your awning window, make sure the window crank isn’t a source of the heat loss problem. Worn out or broken window cranks can prevent the window from closing properly or tightly. Typically, cranks are attached with a long screw so it just takes a screwdriver and a little elbow grease to replace it.
Fix The Latch Or Lock Lever
Another piece of awning window hardware that can wear out over time is the latch or lever that locks it when closed. Latch and unlatch the window several times to test the seal. If it’s loose, follow the manufacturer instructions to replace it with a new latch recommended for your awning window model.
Check The Small Things First To Save Big Costs
Taking a close look at the wear and tear of your awning window part by part can pinpoint problems that can easily be fixed on a small home improvement budget.
Most home repair stores will have the replacement parts and insulation materials you’ll need to make these adjustments on your own. Be sure to have the window measurements, model and manufacturer information with you, if possible. You might also take photos of the damaged hardware, jamb seals, etc. to show if you don’t want to take your window apart first.
If you notice that your awning window has bigger problems – like a warped wood frame or damaged window stops – you may need to get more (and more expensive) help making repairs. Start with these small improvements, if needed, and they might be all you need to do to feel more warmth inside your window again.