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Our windows in the back of our house receive a lot of wind. When it's windy or very cold, the air is coming in through various crevices: window track and space between window. The windows are about 7 years old and the fuzzy insulation looks okay. I've tried to install insulation, but it didn't seem to resolve it.

  • Do I need to put caulk on the outside?
  • Do I just replace the back windows with higher quality windows?

Image of window (black arrows are where the air comes in between track and blue arrows is where the fuzzy insulation is installed:

A Closer Look A Closer Look

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Great pics. They make it easy to understand what's going on. – Chris Cudmore Feb 20 '13 at 15:09
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Looking at your pic and arrows, it looks like the bottom sash does not fit well. If all the factory weather seals are in place, not damaged or worn, I think they may be poor quality. That is rare since most windows in the last 10 years or so are normally fairly tight. The area that really concerns me are the sides where you show the arrow. This area usually depends on a snug mechanical fit, not weather stripping to seal the unit. Does this lower unit seem loose? Leaking at the joint of the two sashes is common and can be fixed with new seals most of the time, but the sides do not. Also, some windows need to be locked for the sash to sash seal to fully engage.

Caulking is not a good way to seal these kind of leaks if you ever want to open them again!

Maybe you can more fully describe the areas in question and the fit of the windows.

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Yes, the windows are locked. I've posted another picture, which will hopefully explain it better. It's mostly when it's really windy and it occurs in the gap. The metal track looks to have some type of weather stripping on either side. It doesn't seem loose to me. – daub815 Feb 11 '13 at 23:48

There is a product called rope caulk that you can get at many home improvement stores or hardware stores. It is essentially long strings of putty on a roll. You pull off what you need, tuck it into the crevices, and it blocks the drafts. In the spring, it can easily be removed so the windows will open and close again.

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