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Why Windows Make Popping Noises

As a replacement window company serving the Minneapolis area, we often get calls from homeowners asking about issues with their windows during the winter.  One of the most common is about condensation, but another one is popping noises.  Now, as anyone who has owned a home for more than a brief period knows, it’s common for homes to make noises as they age and as the temperatures fluctuate.  You might be familiar with nail pop sounds (usually during a cold night).  But we often field questions about why a window might be doing this.  There be several causes, and rarely does it indicate you have a problem with your windows.

The Common Causes of Noises from Windows

Imagine being home alone, sitting by the fire reading on a cold winter’s night, and suddenly you hear a popping sound that seems to be coming from a nearby window.  Of course you’re startled, but you’re most likely curious about what could be causing the sound.  The most likely reasons are related to expansion and contraction of window materials that can happen at this time of year.  It’s especially true if those windows get direct sunlight during the day (which warms up the frame) and then it turns very cold at night.   The two most likely reasons both relate to aluminum.

  • Sounds from expansion and contraction are most common with windows that have exterior aluminum cladding.  Aluminum is a soft metal that is subject to expanding with heat and then contracting with cold.  It’s not enough of a difference to cause a problem with the window itself, but as the aluminum contracts back against the frame it is protecting, it can make a popping sound.  Nothing to worry about.
  • Low-E glass (a very popular option that many people choose when they order replacement windows) can also cause a popping sound if your home has aluminum siding.  Low-E glass has a coating that reflects the heat of the sun, and that reflection can fall on the surrounding siding. As it’s warmed up, the siding can expand and then contract as the temperature drops.  

There is one other reason you might be hearing noises from your windows, and that has to do with the window itself.  Sometimes it’s due to the window not being installed properly and not fitting tight and aligned in its opening.  But the same thing can happen as a window ages and warps or shrinks.  Expansion and contraction can result in noises.  So if you don’t have aluminum siding or aluminum-clad windows, it might be worth having your windows evaluated by a professional replacement window contractor like us.

Window Outfitters, Inc. serves the greater Minneapolis area with services such as window replacement and exterior door installation.  If you’re having issues with your windows, please give us a call for a consultation





Window Outfitters is a premier Window Replacement, doors, siding contractor and installer. As Contractor in the St Paul, Minneapolis, (Twin Cities) Minnesota (MN) metro, we proudly serve, but are not limited to, the following areas: Minneapolis Energy Efficient Vinyl Windows, Replacement Window Contractors Minnesota, Burnsville, Apple Valley, Lakeville, Savage, Bloomington, Edina, Richfield, Eagan, St Paul, Hastings, Minnetonka, Plymouth, Maple Grove, Eden Prairie, Farmington MN, Chaska, Shakopee, Chanhassen, Victoria, Mendota Heights Anderson Windows Minneapolis, Marvin Windows Minneapolis.