Your home’s windows have many important roles. Well-designed windows can improve your home’s curb appeal, increase the amount of natural light in your home, and improve energy efficiency. If your windows are old, however, they can be a liability. For this reason, being able to recognize whether your windows need to be replaced is crucial.
When was the last time you stood there and really checked out your windows? If your home has aluminum or wood framed windows, you most likely are used to them and may not even notice the problems they cause. Homes that are over 20 years old with the original windows are usually due for an upgrade, but there are some easy ways to check.
Here are some signs that your home’s windows are due for an upgrade.
1) High Energy Bills
On a cold day, stand next to your windows in a t-shirt. Does it feel cooler than the rest of the house? Touch your windows. If the glass feels cold to the touch, the warm air from your furnace is being cooled down as soon as it gets within a few feet of your windows. What a waste!
Grab a candle or burning incense stick. Hold it by your window frames and slowly move it around each window's edge. If the candle flickers or the smoke moves, drafts are coming in through your windows. Really bad windows will have visible light coming through the frame in spots when you try this in the dark with a flashlight. Think about how much warmer your home would be if all those little holes were sealed up!
As the temperature drops during winter and rises during the summer, your heating and cooling bills are sure to do the same. If your windows are on the older side, however, the chances are that much of the heat produced by your furnace and the cooling from your air conditioner is going to waste. While older windows are generally single-paned and susceptible to leaks, newer windows are highly efficient and designed to help prevent air transfer.
You should consider replacing those leaky windows with windows that contain argon gas and low-emissivity (Low-E) glass to save on heating bills. Low-E glass can keep heat in during the winter and out during the summer, greatly reducing your annual heating and cooling costs.
2) Window Operation
Walk around your house and open and close each window to check for smooth operation. If your windows need to be forced or propped open, or if they're painted or swollen shut, it's time to replace them. Wood windows can be particularly bad for this. Windows should open and close effortlessly.
3) Decaying Frames and Leaky Windows
One of the most obvious signs that you need to replace your windows is decaying window frames. As your wooden window frames are exposed to moisture, they can begin to warp. In addition to making it more difficult to open and close your windows, moisture damage can also cause more serious decay down the road. If you notice that your window frames show signs of decay, this is a sign that your windows are in need of an upgrade.
You may also notice that you have leaky windows - windows leaking water. In some cases your windows may be leaking so bad that they are leaving a pool of water on your floor. Uh-Oh!
We’ve been in business for over 30 years and have seen all kinds of creative ways to ignore replacing leaking windows. There are a lot of reasons why home owners decide to hold-off on replacing windows. You may be thinking that there isn’t enough water leakage to justify the renovation, or that the leaking will stop in summer. When you’re making your decision to replace windows remember that moisture fuels the growth of mold no matter how little there is. The longer you delay replacing your windows the greater chance the leaking window will create an even bigger problem.
Two of the most common reasons why your windows are leaking are due to poor installation, or a failed sealed unit. You might be asking, "Well can't they just be repaired?"
You could repair your windows but you wouldn’t be fixing the problem. Think about it this way…your leaking window is A PROBLEM but it’s not THE PROBLEM. Moisture build up on your windows is a symptom to something far more important. The only way to truly fix leaking windows (and ensure that the windows won’t fail again) is to replace them.
Stand quietly by the window for a moment and wait for a car to drive by. Can you hear it coming from down the street? Single-pane windows, or even double-pane windows, will transfer sound vibrations from the street into your house. All that noise can really build up! The best energy efficient windows, will absorb these sound waves before they get to the inside.
Do you regularly see fog or condensation building up on your household windows? The first thing you will want to do is diagnose which kind of condensation you are dealing with. Simply because depending on where your condensation is appearing, it may not be a cause for concern that you have condensation on your windows.
If you have diagnosed that you have condensation between the two panes of glass in your windows, this is a sure sign that your windows' seals have failed and it's time to replace them before your windows get too leaky.
In recent years, advancements in energy-efficient technology have made new windows better than ever. Whether you are simply trying to improve your home’s appearance or save money this winter, upgrading your windows is a great renovation project that is sure to pay dividends.
If you realize that it is time to replace your home's windows, give us a call or request a consultation for free today!