Image of a young man cleaning a window pane that he has removed from the frame.

Clean your windows to make cracks or air leaks visible.

1. You won’t be opening and closing your windows much during the winter season, so remove your screens. This will help you better access your windows when you perform routine maintenance.

2. Just because you can’t use your windows for ventilation, it doesn’t mean they can’t be a source of dazzling light. Wash your windows so they look their best and sparkle even on the coldest days.

3. After removing your screens and cleaning your windows, carefully examine your window glass, inside and outside, for dents, scratches or any other marks. Press gently on the glass panes to make sure they are snug and aren’t shifting or rattling around. A tiny crack, or loose pane, could cause air to escape.

4. Inspect the caulk and weatherstripping surrounding the glass pane. Look for cracks or peeling, as this could be an indication of air leakage. If the caulk is looking worn, apply a fresh coat of caulk to ensure your window is properly insulated.

5. If you can’t see any cracks, one of the best ways to check your windows for air leaks is to hold a lit candle up to the window. Position the candle about 4-6 inches away from the glass pane and slowly move it left to right, covering every surface of the window. If at any point the flame goes out, or is moved horizontally (imagine a flame being gently blown), it means you have discovered an air leak.

There are several solutions for window air leaks. You may consider purchasing a window insulation kit from your local window retailer. Depending on how old your windows are, it just might be time for an upgrade.

Go to for a wide selection of energy-efficient window options.