Draughty windows are a common occurrence in many home. The main cause of draughty windows is faulty hinges; the rubber seal can also perish and allow draughts to get in. Another cause of draughty windows can be that the window opening may not be square and will drop showing a gap in the corner above the handle. From September to March faulty hinges really show their ugly heads. Ireland is windy at the best of times so heat loss is a big problem. Noise is also a real give away if you have faulty hinges, dogs barking, traffic noise and louder than usual voices!
Window hinges are a very important part of your window hardware. Well fitted hinge are designed to run smoothly along the track to open out and ventilate room and close to seal the window against the frame. To get the best from your hinges special care must be given to cleaning and lubrication. When your window hinges have failed or are strained you will notice an increase in noise from out side, draughts, and dirt around the frame and on blinds. In winter the effect is more obvious the cold air from outside mixes with the warm air inside and causes moisture on window and window frame. When this happens with older aluminium window frames mould can form where frame meet wall, this is particularly common in bedrooms.
The end cap of the hinge can stretch and doesn’t close in tight and the resistance block can break causing the hinge to kick out at the bottom are the main areas where the hinge breaks down. The hinges are not guiding the window along the track to give a tight seal all around the frame. A coin could easily fit between hinge and seal at this stage hinges will need to be replaced.
By replacing your faulty hinges with good quality hinges you will reduce heat loss from your home which will save you money on your fuel bill and improve your comfort at home. There are a number of different types of hinges ie side hung, top hung, fire safety the are used in most homes today, so it is important to use the right one when replacing to improve comfort and longevity (see hinge maintenance)
1 My windows are draughty what can I do? In general if your windows are draughty your hinges are faulty. Most hinges can be replaced by matching the old hinge with an identical or a similar one.
2 What causes a hinge to fail? Poor maintenance and wear and tear is usually the cause of hinge failure, when dirt gets into the moving parts it will eventually cause failure.
3 How often should I oil hinges? If you oil your hinges once or twice a year it should be enough.
4 What type of hinges do I need for a bedroom? All bedroom windows must have a fire safety hinge. This hinge opens up for the maximum opening.