No matter how new your home is, issues with your windows can creep up at any time. And at some point, they’ll need to be completely replaced. While high-quality, properly-maintained windows can last for as long as 20 years, they don’t last forever. Pay attention to them: they’ll show specific signs that it’s time to swap them for brand new ones.
Here are a few signs to look for so you know when it’s time for a replacement.
1. Your Utility Bills Are Sky High
Have you noticed that your utility bills are steadily creeping up? If you haven’t been doing anything different, then it could be that you’re losing energy from certain sources, including your windows. If there are leaks in your windows that are allowing too much indoor air out – and vice versa – your HVAC system is working a lot harder than it needs to. Compare your energy bill to last year’s – if it’s a lot higher today, that’s a red flag.
2. They’re Warped or Rotting
One of the more obvious signs that your windows need to be replaced is if they are clearly rotting or damaged. The issue could be very minor in nature: maybe all they need is a quick repair. But if the problem is more extensive, such as a big crack in the glass or a severely bent frame, then a replacement is probably the better option. Not only do warped or rotting windows look terrible, they’re probably contributing to energy loss, which will only cost you a lot more money over the long run.
3. Outdoor Noise Isn’t Effectively Drowned Out
Windows aren’t exactly sound proof, but they should be able to effectively drown out the majority of outdoor noise. If you’re trying to enjoy a quiet evening indoors and you can hear people’s conversations and passing cars as clear as a bell, maybe you need new windows with a more innovative and modern design. Single pane windows of yesteryear are certainly not going to be able to drown out the sounds coming from the outdoors like contemporary double pane windows would.
4. You Notice Condensation
If your windows are constantly fogging up and allowing the build up of condensation, they may ned to be replaced. Double-paned windows go through a cycle of expansion and contraction every day as a result of thermal pumping. Sunlight heats up the space between the panes and causes the gas in there to heat up and expand. This causes a lot of pressure in the space between the two panes. On the other hand, the air between the panes cools at night, causing the space between the panes to contract.
All these constant pressure fluctuations over time can cause wear and tear on the seal, leading to small fractures that let air in and out of the space between the panes. If your windows experience an increasing amount of condensation, that probably means the glazing assembly is faulty and needs replacement.
5. You Struggle to Open or Close Them
Do you need to use all your muscle just to open or close your windows? If so, that’s a problem. Not only is it a nuisance to have to deal with sticking windows, you’re also likely losing energy. In addition, windows that don’t open or shut properly can be a safety hazard: they likely won’t be that effective at keeping prowlers out while you’re gone.
6. They’re Outdated
Aside from dealing with energy loss and safety hazards, sometimes a change in esthetics is all the reason you need to replace your windows. If they’re are old and dated, replacing them with newer, more modern ones can give your home a completely revived look. Not only will the interior look much more sophisticated, you’ll be vamping up the exterior curb appeal as well.
Replacing windows is not a cheap endeavor. Having said that, the money you can realistically save in utility bills over the long haul can help you recoup that money spent up front to replace them. The fact that you’re also reducing your carbon footprint on the planet is just icing on the cake.