When was the last time you checked the condition of your windows? If it hasn’t been within the last five years, you could have some maintenance issues you need to handle. Not to mention, if your home has aluminum or wood framed windows, you may not even notice the problems they cause easily. If your home is over 20 years old with the original windows- you are due for an upgrade, but there are some easy ways to check. How will you know when it is time to replace your windows?
High Energy Bills
On a cold day, stand next to your windows. Does it feel cooler than the rest of your home? 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. Not only is this uncomfortable but it’s such a waste! In fact, 10% of your heat loss could be going right out those windows.
As the temperature drops during winter and rises during the summer, your heating and cooling bills are sure to do the same. But, if your windows are on the older side, it’s likely 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 vulnerable to leaks, newer windows are highly efficient and designed to help prevent air transferring in and out of your home. If your heating bills are unreasonably high, it may be time to find replacement windows.
Walk around your home to open and close each window to check for smooth operation. If it requires a bit of force and pressure to open or if they’re painted or swollen shut, it’s time to replace them. Wood windows can be particularly bad for this. Opening your windows should not be a chore or a source of exercise, they should open and close effortlessly.
Not only can these hard to operate windows be annoying, they more often than not have leaks caused by these ill-fitting windows. This is expected with windows and throughout their lifetime you can expect windows to gather some scrapes and scratches. But these can actually lead to more heat and cooling loss.
Decaying Frames and Leaky Windows
One of the clearest signs that you need to replace your windows is decaying window frames. As stated before, windows that have had years of use can begin to develop cracks and cuts in their frames. This creates little holes for your heating and cooling to escape. If your windows frames and their connections to the wall show heavy signs of wear and tear, you should look into getting new windows.
Some may tell you to just recaulk the edges, however, this may not solve the issue. This would be the same as placing a patch on a boat, it will last for a bit but the hole is still there, and still need to be fixed.
If You Have Single Pane Windows
If your house was built before 1970 and still has its original windows, there is a very good chance that they are made of single pane glass. Single pane glass windows are sub-standard, drafty, and occasionally unsafe (when they shatter). Newer windows can be double or even triple pane. With some of these windows, the glass is tempered. This prevents the glass from cracking into large shards. It is sometimes referred to as safety glass.
Double and Triple pane windows can also help protect your belongings from the sun. Single pane glass does the worst job at keeping out the UV rays that enter through your windows and can fade colors. Low E glass used in the newer windows reduces most of the UVB light and helps minimize heating and cooling costs.
If You Can Hear Your Neighbors
If cars passing by, dogs barking, and lawn mowers running are all heard loud and clear in the house, this is yet another sign you may need new windows. Single-pane windows and even double-pane windows will transfer sound vibrations from the street into your house. Before you know it, all the noise will add up and you can wave goodbye to the peace and quiet. The best energy efficient windows will absorb these sound waves before they enter your home.
Do you regularly see fog or condensation building up on your windows? You will need to analyze which kind of condensation you are dealing with, as not all condensation is bad. Depending on where it is appearing on the window, it may not be a cause for concern.
However, if you do see condensation in between the two panes of glass, this is a sure sign that your windows’ seals have failed and it’s time to replace them before your windows get too leaky. Learn more about the types of condensation and various solutions to combat the problem.
In order to keep your home operating at peak efficiency, all factors need to be functioning together properly. This includes ensuring your windows are functioning properly too, and if not- replacing them.
Older windows can be doing more harm to your energy usage than you think. And replacing them could end up saving you on your utilities. Installing new windows are a functional upgrade. Whether you are simply trying to improve your home’s appearance or save money on your energy bills, window renovations are the answer.