10 Signs You Need to Replace Your Windows

Windows are one of the few links a home has between the indoors and outdoors. While the foundation, siding, and roof all serve incredibly important roles in the exterior, none of them are capable of bridging the gap between the indoors and outdoors like windows.

As a result, you could conclude that windows are arguably the most vital exterior feature of a home as well as an integral interior component too. It arguably makes windows one of the most important features of a home.

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So when it comes to time to replace them you usually already have a good indication well before hearing what any expert has to say about the matter. However, if you need to confirm your suspicions here are 10 signs that you need to replace your windows.

1. Windows Fail the Draft Test 

The draft test is a really simple test you can conduct in order to verify that a particular window is drafty. All you need is a candle or lighter. After you turn off all the fans and close every window and door in the house, light the candle or lighter.

Then, bring the candle to the seams of the window. As slowly as possible move the light from one corner of the seam to the other corner. Keep your eyes on the flame. If you notice the flame dart in one direction then it just picked up an air draft. Meanwhile, a flame that remains relatively straight indicates it is well sealed.

After you test various windows in question you should get a clear indication as to not only how many windows in your home are drafty, but also the precise points of vulnerability. You can attempt to seal these areas with other types of insulation like weather stripping or caulking. If that proves ineffective over time then your windows are due for a change.

Drafty windows contribute to higher energy costs and are also uncomfortable for anyone living inside the house. It can also cause an HVAC system to operate twice as hard as one with good windows.

2. Window Frames Demonstrate Wear

When a window frame starts to deteriorate, there’s not a whole lot you can do other than replace the entire window unit. Frames are exposed to the elements and have trouble staying strong over time.

Water damage is one of the primary culprits to damaged window frames. The sun or pests like insects can also contribute to the deterioration.

In order to see if your windows need to be replaced first check the frames. Is the material of the frame soft, cracking, or showing evident signs of water damage? If so, it’s time to get them replaced before the rot completely takes over the structure.

3. Window Operation is Not Smooth

Old windows are difficult to open, close, and lock over time. Furthermore, windows that were poorly installed demonstrate balance issues and other costly repairs.

The window may also rust or rot from abuse and add even more trouble to its smooth operation. Windows that don’t close properly are not only poor for energy bills, but are also less secure and could get compromised by a home burglar.

4. Condensation Build Up is Evident

Condensation is not good for the lifespan of a window. When it builds up between the glass layers or penetrates cracks in the glass then you have a serious problem.

Seals that have failed indicate frosted windows and reveals that excess moisture is getting into the structure. Once again it not only jeopardizes energy costs but also could get more costly if water damage begins to occur on the interior of the home.

5. You’re Spending More Time on Maintenance

Windows should be relatively maintenance free. Yes, you do need to clean them once and awhile. You also may need to oil or grease working components of windows that open like casements or awning windows. However, if you’re spending an unnecessary amount of maintenance time on anything, including windows then it’s time to replace.

One common red flag is when a homeowner is constantly caulking the exterior of the window or installing new weather stripping to try and prevent air drafts. Sometimes there’s only so much you can do before water will get to the new seal so quickly that it’s not a long term solution.

6. The Windows are Noisy

Windows are not soundproof, but they should do a relatively good job of shielding noise. It’s a good idea to replace the window when you notice rooms in the interior start to get noisier than before.

Double-pane and triple-pane glass windows are remarkably soundproof and work well for homes next to a busy highway or in a crowded, noisy neighborhood.

7. Energy Costs are More Expensive

Like the price of everything, energy costs are rising. However, if you have lived in a home for years and definitely notice a stark difference between what you used to pay for heating in the winter, and air conditioning in the summer, and that price has dramatically soared then poor windows are a common suspect.

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Windows that are drafty let out too much controlled temperature and too many undesirable air temperatures from the exterior. The result is your HVAC system can work twice as hard as one under normal circumstances.

8. The Touch Test

What time of the year is it? If you live in a cold setting, try touching the glass in the middle of the winter. Is it unreasonably freezing? How about in the summer – try touching the glass.

If you feel like the glass is unusually hot than too much of the sun from the outside is exposing the glass and that’s an indication you could use a stronger window system like a double-pane or triple-pane window.

9. You Are Looking to Sell

Windows are a very important aspect of having a strong curb appeal. In addition to your roof and siding, they are judged very critically by prospective buyers.

Therefore, if your windows are outdated and you’re looking to sell, it may be worth installing new ones to add home value before putting the place on the market. It’s not a necessity yet in some cases is well worth the investment.

10. The Eye Test

At the end of the day, your eyes don’t lie. If the windows don’t look good to you anymore, there is a reason why.

Outdated, old windows just don’t look fantastic over a course of several decades. The glass loses its vividness. The frame starts to rot and crack. Paint may begin to peel. More drafts are present than ever before.

Window Replacement Makes a Difference

These 10 indications can make it clear that it’s time to replace your windows. Though the project is costly and time-consuming it does make a significant difference and can create energy savings in the long run.

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Window Resource started with one goal in mind - to help people become up-to-date on all things windows. Windows play a major role in your home's looks, value and energy efficiency so it's important to make the right decision when getting new ones installed. We'll cover just about every topic there is so you can make the best decision. Still don't see what you're looking for? Contact us and we'll answer any questions you may have.