With the help of this video, I will show you how to diagnose broken hinges / friction stays on your windows. Now, I’m not saying this is the only reason why your windows will be draughty. But, this is by far the most common reason for draughty windows.
Nine Times Out Of Ten It Will Be Broken Hinges Not Seals!
People often think that the rubber seals are damaged or have shrunk on their windows. While nine times out of ten it will be broken hinges. This video shows timber windows, but as you can see from the image above, it is the very same for PVC and aluminium windows.
Your Draughty Windows Checklist
So the first thing to check on your windows, is how it is sealing when you close it. If it closes nice and tight on the handle side, but leaves a gap on the hinge side. Your hinges are broken. Depending on what way your windows open (ie top opening or side opening) You might only see a gap on one side. The window in the video is a side hung window. Although you can’t see it in the video, the top hinge is actually closing in as it should. But the bottom hinge is not closing properly and needs replacing to solve the problem. Even if only one of your hinges is broken, you will have to replace both of them. Both hinges need to be a matching set and are sold as a set. As you can see in the video this window closes tight on the handle side, but has a huge gap on the hinge side. You can even see light coming through the gap.
The best thing you can do to prevent this from happening to your windows, is to clear any dirt and debris out of the hinges and oil them once or twice a year. Use a clean dry paint brush, sweep any dirt out of the hinge. Next oil the hinges using the likes of 3in1 oil, pay particularly attention to the moving and sliding components of the hinge.
Now your hinges might not be as bad as the hinges in the video. You might only have a small gap, or you might only notice the draught when it’s really windy. The gap will get bigger with time. So the best way to help diagnose the problem; is to use a cigarette lighter.
For best results, do this on a windy day. Simply hold the flame close to the window frame like shown in the video. Not too close though or you will burn your window. Go around the whole opening of the window slowly. When the window is sealed correctly there will be no draughts and the flame will be still. If you see the flame dancing around the place or gets blown out, you will know where the draught is coming from. In this case, the draught is is coming from the broken hinges. The day i filmed this it wasn’t windy at all and you can see how much the flame moves
So this is the window after the new hinges were installed. You can see when the window closes that it closes tight to the seal, and when I do the lighter test again, you can see that the draught is gone.