What to Look For
Most of the windows we sell are vinyl double hung windows. These feature three primary types of seals or weather stripping.
A. Bulb seals
The first type is known as a bulb seal. Basically, this is a hollow tubular rubbery type of seal that is located in certain key areas of the window to prevent infiltration of air, water, dust, and other elements – including insects. It works through compression of the bulb seal to another surface to create the barrier.
B. Wool pile
The second type of seal in our most common windows is commonly called wool pile. Although it is not made of wool, it is a fuzzy strip of synthetic material that looks like a very fine brush. This is located in certain areas of a window to help with the transmittance of heat, cold, and debris.
C. Compression magnetic seal
The third type of weather seal is a rubbery compression magnetic seal, similar to what is found on refrigerator doors. This seal, like bulb seals, works through compression, but it has an additional magnetic feature that ensures a super tight seal.
What to Do
Use soapy water, with a mild detergent and a gentle brush (e.g., an old toothbrush or small scrub brush) to clean the seals around your windows. While doing this, it is a good idea to wipe down the surfaces that the seals come in contact with to ensure these are clean and ready to receive the seals. This might be more or less involved depending on how long it has been since you did this, the age of your windows, and whether your home is located in an area that gets a lot of dust and
insect activity (e.g., near large farm fields). If your bulb style compression seals or wool pile are damaged or missing, these should be replaced as soon as possible.
It might seem obvious, but cleaning your windows is important to maintaining their high level of performance. And note that proper cleaning extends beyond just the glass. In fact, a routine cleaning of the entire window, inside and out, including the seals, is important to enjoying long lasting, high performing windows. After all, windows are a substantial investment and they can save a significant amount of money in energy bills over time if properly maintained.
If you have any questions about windows, including their seals, feel free to contact us. We are happy to help!