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how to stop or reduce cold air around old window weight pulleys

dderolph's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 172

01-15-12, 08:06 PM   #1  
how to stop or reduce cold air around old window weight pulleys

My son has a rental house that's about 80 years old. The living and dining room still have the original windows. They have the cords connected to both sides of the window with the cords being connected to a heavy weight inside the woodwork around the window. The two (side-by-side) windows in the dining room are very bad about letting cold air in around the pulley opening.

I watched a video at http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/vide...57396,00.html; it shows how to insulate to stop such air flow but the video pertains to a window where the actual window has been updated and the pulley is no longer needed.

So, I'm wondering how to deal with the old windows which still have the cords connected to weights. Perhaps pulling off the trim boards on the sides and using some caulk or foam insulation sealant (aerosol can) to seal joints where cold air seems to be entering would be somewhat effective, without blocking the functioning of the window weights.

Any suggestions?

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XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator

Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 19,319

01-15-12, 08:46 PM   #2  
I have seen people slip sections of 2" pvc drain pipe around the window counterweights (basically enclosing them) so that they could insulate the weight cavity while still allowing the counterweight to slide freely. Not really the best solution but probably better than nothing.

Bud9051's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 9,772

01-16-12, 04:28 AM   #3  
That's a new one on me XS, I'll remember that. Another approach is the thin plastic film over the entire window. Once you master getting the double sided tape on, the plastic shrinks into place and is almost invisible. The plastic will also eliminate other leak areas so it has an additional benefit, especially in a rental.


zip2play's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 17

02-11-12, 08:24 AM   #4  
I have never seen a weight system that had the clearance enough to enclose the weights.

If air cannot get into the WELL, it cannot get into the house. So perhaps opening the channel and caulking all the wood joints is the best idea.

But remember, we all need some fresh air entering our homes.

dderolph's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 172

02-11-12, 09:00 AM   #5  
Thanks for that idea, zip2play. I like it.

As far as going to far with stopping of air leaks, I don't think that's an issue with this house, at least not yet. There are still other old windows that are not as air tight as newer windows, minor air leaks about basement sill, etc.

TBurr's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 78

02-16-12, 01:52 PM   #6  
here's one

For the window weigh pulley holes, pull the cord out a bit and place some polyester fluff under the cord. Release it. The weight will hold it taught to the lower opening, and it will be pulled slightly into the upper opening. Dead tight air seal. Arrange the excess so it doesn't look too sloppy.

And just remove it in the spring.

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