Do You Need New Windows? 5 Signs It’s Time for a Window Replacement
Windows are often taken for granted within a home, even though they largely affect your comfort. They provide natural light and help control the inside temperature. At some point, however, they need to be replaced, and it’s not always clear when that might be.
Check out these five simple signs to help you decide when to update your windows.
1. Your Energy Bills Are High
Are you suddenly paying more for your utilities than usual? When your windows aren’t properly preventing outside air from leaking into your home, your heating and cooling system must work much harder to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. You’ll probably notice a significant climb in your energy costs when compared to a bill from the same time last year.
Replacing your windows is the best thing you can do to lower those costs. According to JD Hostetter, a residential construction and renovation firm, “it can be one of the most cost-effective home improvements out there…Aside from increasing energy efficiency, window replacements can also provide better security and safety, make cleaning and maintenance easier, provide effective acoustic insulation, and have a huge favorable impact on your home’s curb appeal.”
Said simply, you’ll raise your property values and reduce your energy costs with new windows.
2. The Wood Is Warped
Wood window frames are easily damaged if the window needs replaced, usually because moisture from the outside elements warps the frame. With time, exterior moisture can leak into the interior, warping the frames on the inside as well.
Warped wood might seem like an easy fix if you just replace the problem piece of wood. However, a Forbes article warns against this practice: “Replacing a damaged, warped, or broken window sash or frame is almost always preferred to attempting a repair.” Only a window replacement can eliminate the problems associated with a warped window frame.
3. The Glass Is Cracked
A simple crack doesn’t seem like a big deal. The window is still together, after all, and it’s not like you immediately replace your windshield in your car because of a single obscure crack. But windows in your home are a little different than your car windshield.
A crack lets air leak through it, harming the efficiency of your HVAC system. Furthermore, it weakens the integrity of the glass, making it more likely to break in bad weather or let water inside. You should have the window replaced right away.
4. It’s Drafty
When you walk past your window, can you feel cold air coming through? You might also be able to hear the wind whistling through it. To test the windows throughout your home, hold a tissue next to the frame to see if it flutters from air leaks.
“If your windows are in really rough shape, you’ll be able to see light coming through gaps in the frame,” explains an article from HGTV. “Drafty windows will definitely be more noticeable in the winter months when the cold air can be felt blowing into your home.”
5. They’re Old
Think back to the last time your windows were replaced. It might have been before you bought the house. In some cases, the windows may be original, and if your home was built 30 years ago, they’re simply too old to do their jobs properly.
Most window installers agree that a high-quality window will seal the air in your home for around 15-20 years. A cheaper window will only last around 10. When your window has surpassed this age limit, it’s probably time for a replacement.
Some windows last longer than the designated time frame. If you’ve kept up with maintenance or live in an area that doesn’t experience harsh storms or excess moisture throughout the year, your windows may last longer. So, the age of the windows is usually only a telling factor if you have other symptoms mentioned on this list.
Take a holistic approach to defining the problem with your windows and deciding to make these updates.