Alternatives to caulking windows
We have six 48x54-inch windows on the north side of our house. During the winter we regularly have 30 mile an hour winds. The windows are equipped with storm windows but a great deal of wind is forced between the window and window frame where the upper and lower window meet. The wind also causes the frame on which the storm window is mounted to billow. As an emergency solution we caulked the entire window but would like to know of a better solution. Janice Barth Haymarket, Va.
Caulking is the best solution because that will stop the air from slipping around the frame. I think what you're saying is that if you open the windows, all the caulking is going to come loose again because the windows have been caulked shut.
You can use double-glazed windows and this is the best way to go. You can also caulk around the outside of the frame of the window on the wall side. Make sure the storms fit tightly.
I don't think there is any way to strengthen the windows because anything you were to apply to the windows would not be visually attractive.
Have you tal ked with a local carpenter?