Replacing the existing windows in your home is an investment that can improve its overall appearance while helping you save on energy costs. It’s not a cheap proposition, so you’ll want to be sure that you’re waiting for the right time to start this type of project. How can you tell if your windows need to be replaced? Here are some signs that your windows are at or near the end of their lives and peak efficiency and your windows need replacing.
Cold Spots Near Windows
If you find that you avoid sitting on a chair or a sofa near a window, examine the area carefully for gaps outside of the frame. It’s usually a sign that warm air is escaping from your home during the winter and cool air is leaking out during the summer when you run a fan or air conditioner. Whether you have single or double pane windows, the putty around the frame may also have disintegrated, leaving gaps that allow air to flow in and out.
Difficulty Opening or Closing the Windows
Once you find it hard to open or close your windows properly, they need to be replaced. The shape of the window frame may have shifted slightly due to the house settling. You have to be able to open and close your windows for safety reasons and to keep your home safe and secure.
Single Pane Windows
Older homes may have windows outfitted with only one pane of glass, which are usually not energy efficient – especially if they’re original to the home. Single pane windows often freeze open or shut during the winter due to ice buildup in the frames. Additionally, single pane windows that are cold to the touch during winter usually indicate heat loss from the interior.
Furniture, Drapes, Carpet or Photographs Fade
If you notice that certain possessions exposed to direct sunlight tend to fade, it’s probably time to consider new windows. Upgrading to modern window units means extra protection against damaging UV rays that cause fading. Most window manufacturers offer several types of treated window glass that block or deflect direct sunlight, offering a greater level of protection for interior fabrics, carpeting or wood floors and family photographs.
Windows are Difficult to Clean
Washing windows is usually a chore that no one in your family looks forward to, simply because your existing windows are so difficult to clean. Traditionally, double hung windows require cleaning from the outside and many people simply don’t feel comfortable getting up on ladders. Once you add in a bucket and the other tools required for cleaning, the job is something that gets put off for as long as possible.
Modern double-hung windows tilt inward so they can be cleaned from inside the home. This makes cleaning a breeze compared to traditional window styles. Window grills aren’t a cleaning challenge either, now that such reinforcement is available in the interior of certain window units.
I Don’t Want to Paint Window Frames
Doing maintenance work is one of the joys of home ownership. Exterior wood window frames and trim usually require annual maintenance to keep them looking their best. The existing paint needs to be scraped and sanded before a new top coat can be applied. Most people would rather spend their weekends or summer vacation enjoying themselves, rather than doing maintenance work on their home. Replacing the existing window with vinyl-clad frames means going maintenance free. They’re available in a wide range of colors and their life expectancy guarantees that you won’t be spending your summer weekends scraping paint off of your window frames anymore.
Outside Noises Heard in your Home
If your home is constantly invaded by noise pollution, don’t assume that it’s the result of the world getting noisier – your windows may be partly to blame. Older windows usually do a poor job of blocking out noise from a nearby thoroughfare, school or business. Replacing them with new, noise-reducing windows will help to make your home the quiet place of refuge that you want it to be when you arrive there after a busy day.
Your home is probably one of the biggest financial investments you’ll ever make. Replacing old, inefficient windows can vastly improve the look of your home, the ease of its upkeep and the overall value of your investment. Knowing exactly when to replace your home’s windows isn’t as easy as it may seem, but being able to recognize several of the warning signs is a step in the right direction. The more of these issues that seem familiar, the closer you should be to considering making this upgrade to your home.