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So, you were sick of your leaky, inefficient windows. We get it. No one likes throwing money out the window—literally. Each month, drafty, poorly-sealed windows account for an average of 25 to 30% of the heating and cooling energy usage in American homes, according to the Department of Energy. Even the smallest gaps and cracks can cause heating and cooling loss. Windows become drafty due to a variety of reasons: damage, bad seals, single-pane glass, or improper installation. Professional window replacement is the best way to avoid issues like these. To put an end to this, you had Window World of Connecticut install brand-new windows in your home. That’s great!
With that said, customers who recently had windows replaced sometimes make the mistake of thinking their new windows are bad because they feel draftiness or cold air coming into the home. In reality, though, this feeling of draftiness is a side effect of window convection—not heat loss. Luckily, there are some things you can do to prevent window convection in your home. First, let’s look at what convection is.
In physics, convection is a process of heat exchange. Convection is only possible with fluids, like gases and liquids. The process starts with a central heat source. As the gaseous air molecules in a particular space heat up, they spread out and become less dense. This decrease in density causes them to rise. As the heated up molecules ascend, they push down the cooler molecules. Then, these cool molecules heat up, and the process continues. This circular interchange of hot and cold molecules in a space is a convection current.
So, how does convection work in relation to your windows? Right now, your heating system is hard at work to keep your home warm. The hot air in your space comes into contact with the cold glass of the windows. That air then loses its heat and falls to the ground. The cold glass deflects the warm air and returns it back into the room. This is the convection current at work. Many people often mistake it for heat loss because of the cooling effect it puts off. Convection is a natural process that happens even with well-insulated and sealed windows.
To help reduce window convection, here are a couple of things you can do:
When you open the blinds or curtains slightly, it allows the warm air to hit the window and help regulate the temperature of the glass. As the surface temperature of the glass nears a neutral temperature, the rate of convection decreases.
To prevent or reduce convection with your new windows, make sure there’s good air circulation. To do this, ensure that none of the air vents in your home are blocked and all furniture is out of the way. Running ceiling fans and air purifiers helps as well.
At the end of the day, understand that the process of convection is normal, and there is nothing wrong with your new windows. There is no heat loss or seal failure here, only a cycle of cooling and heating!
The more panes your windows have, the better the temperature regulation of the glass. Multiple panes keep the temperature of the glass neutral. For example, Window World double and triple-pane windows feature a warm-edge spacer system. With double or triple-pane windows, there’s a small gap between each pane. Within this gap, we use insulating argon gas to help maintain the temperature of the window to match the ambient temperature inside. As the window warms up, so will the gas. This will keep the interior pane warmer and reduce heat transfer via convection. On the flip side, when it’s hot outside, your windows will stay cool inside.
If you ever notice actual heat loss or an increase in your monthly power bill, schedule a free consultation with Window World of Connecticut. Our highly-skilled technicians would love to help you with all of your replacement window and energy efficiency needs!