Did you know that a simple air leak could tack on a few hundred dollars to heating and cooling bill every year? That’s not an exaggeration, and the damage is compounded in the presence of additional window leaks and trouble areas.The importance of having a tightly sealed home or office cannot be overstated. There’s no point in spending big money on high-end HVAC equipment if all of that hot and cold air being produced is going to escape.An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of CureA quick inspection of your windows is one of the best things you can do concerning preventative maintenance, as this allows you to detect potential problems so you can take the appropriate action, whether that be servicing the window yourself or hiring a professional window contractor to fix or replace the faulty product.Follow the lightFew things work better for detecting air leaks than the trusty flashlight method. Please note that another set of hands is needed to do this properly; it’s usually recommended for identifying larger leaks, but can be used to pinpoint smaller ones as well.This is how it works: while one person shines the light around the perimeter of the frame, the other is outside checking to see if it comes through. Here is a hint; if you see light, you know you have a problem!Basic and straightforward, this test only takes a few minutes at most to perform and will alert you to the source of all of those annoying drafts and abnormally high energy bills. Large gaps are more common in older windows, but that does not mean newer replacements are immune to the issue. Any of them will leak if installed wrong!The Flame TestThis test goes hand in hand with the light method, but is primarily used to target leaks that are invisible to the naked eye. Armed with either a lighter or candle (if you prefer to go old school), move the flame slowly along the frame, being mindful of keeping it a few inches back for safety. If you detect movement or if the flame burns out, then there’s a leak somewhere in the window.Of course, picking up the phone and calling your local window service and replacement contractor is the most foolproof method of all. It is always better to know the condition of your windows as opposed to hoping they are OK. The former of the two will save you thousands, while the latter will leave your house cold and uncomfortable.