We live in an old (1880s? 1890s?) Victorian with original wood. When we painted the house after we moved in, the top pane in one window in our bedroom froze open about two inches from the top. The wood is old and somewhat rotten and eventually we'll probably have to replace the entire window and sill, but for 20 years we've just lived with it. With weatherstripping tape covering the gap it's not that bad. Worse in summer when the A/C leaks than in winter.
Unless the wind blows through the room, as it has been this morning. We've had a string of days where the temperature was unusually cold for Washington: 5-6 F with a windchill of -6. But the wind was blowing in the opposite direction and we didn't notice. Today it's a more typical and downright balmy 27F, but the wind is blowing directly through the gap in the window, defeating the heat in the entire upstairs. So Mr. W. took down the curtain apparatus and the blind and oiled the sill and wrestled with it until, after 20 years, the window is finally closed.
This perhaps sounds like nothing to you. You are perhaps thinking big deal, the white trash finally closed their window. That is because you don't understand how high up our bedroom is and how rotten the wood is. It was not impossible that the entire window could have given way and Mr. W. could have plunged forward to his death. He has a wee bit of the daredevil in him, my husband does. Or at least it can be coaxed forth in defense of his wife's comfort.
Perhaps in another 20 years we'll try to open the window again.