Inspecting your windows will tell you a lot of things.
Inspect for dirt and dead insects that are obstructing the bottom of the window or the weep holes, This is something that can usually be cleaned with an attachment on your vacuum fairly easily. You may find that the screens are blocking the weep holes, a simple adjustment can correct this.
Check the weather stripping, it may be damaged or missing, this can cost you money in utilities blowing out the window. (yep, just like your dad said, your cooling all of the outdoors)
Check for separations in your sealants around the glass and around the frame itself. Sealing those up with some caulk or silicon will not only help keep the creepy-crawlies out, but it’ll keep the cool in and help you save on your utility bills. Be careful not to seal the weep holes or you could be creating a bigger problem.
Check the seal between the pieces of glass. Here is a little trick. You can use a can of compressed air (like the one to blow dust off of your keyboard) or plain old ice.
Chill the inside of the glass with ICE for about 2 minutes or turn the can of compressed air upside down and spray the window for about 30 seconds, immediately wipe the surface dry and look for condensation on the other side of the glass. If you see condensation or a cloudy haze at the edges of the glass, it is likely the seal between the panes of glass is bad. My experience has been if I find one bad seal there are likely more in the home. The only way I know to really correct this is to replace the window as the two pieces of glass come together in a sealed unit.
Look for broken glass you didn’t know about, a weed eater can throw a rock that will make a hole in the window. I see this frequently and people are always asking me if it is a bullet hole.
You may determine that your outdated windows need to be replaced altogether. If so there are several companies that can retrofit new windows for you. Check out Renewal By Anderson, I have seen some of their work and it was nice.
Scott Warga, is the Qualifying party for ACSI American Construction Specialists and Investigations LLC,(ROC216772) a dual licensed residential and small commercial contractor. He is also a qualified Scottsdale home inspector certified by the Arizona Board of Technical Registration (#38062) and was appointed to the Arizona Board of Technical Registration’s Enforcement Advisory Committee. He has years of construction experience and has performed residential and commercial property inspections for over 10 years. He has specialized in forensic inspections, investigating failed, damaged and defective construction for over 5 years. He is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), (#205826) and currently sits on their board of directors. He has been an instructor of home inspection at Mesa Community College, for Inspection Training Associates, a Kaplan Professional School and Arizona Sun-Tech Home Inspection School. He has served as District Chairman & Vice President for the Arizona chapter of the American Society of Home Inspectors and an approved instructor for both them and the Arizona Department of Real Estate. If you need an Arizona Home Inspector, he is your guy