“If you think it’s time to replace your home’s windows, but aren’t certain of your assessment, you can rely on the telltale signs that accurately determine whether or not window replacement is warranted,” said Scott Cline, owner of J&B Construction. “Beyond their outdated appearance, old and inefficient windows can raise your energy bill, hinder window operation, cause condensation to form between two panes of glass, lose ability to absorb sound waves, and induce decay on a wooden frame.” Keep in mind that these cues may be more prominent during the winter season, since cold temperatures can exacerbate these problems. Therefore, if one or more of these signs are present in your home, you can feel confident that window replacement is necessary.
“Take a look at your home’s energy bill this month. If there is a sizeable increase when you compare it to last year’s or even the previous month’s bill, then your money may be quite literally flowing out your windows,” said Scott. “Older windows are prone to air leaks, which cause your HVAC system to overcompensate in order to maintain a comfortable room temperature. So, not only do drafty windows cause you to lose money, but they put unnecessary strain on your heating and cooling system too.”
A clear sign that windows are leaking air is when it is no longer possible to open and close them effortlessly. “Remember, difficult window operation is not simply an inconvenience, it’s a viable culprit of a higher energy bill as well,” he said. “For instance, if your windows do not close completely, then outside air is going to seep into the home and the furnace or air conditioner will have to kick into overdrive. Alternatively, if your windows are unable to stay open properly, then you will lose the benefit of turning off your air conditioning in the spring and summer and enjoying a refreshing breeze.” Not to mention, malfunctioning windows can be a safety hazard as they can fall on someone’s finger or increase the likelihood of a break-in.
Is it becoming increasingly difficult to see out of your windows even with regular cleaning? Condensation becomes worrisome only when it tends to build up between the two panes of glass, as this suggests deteriorating window seals. In this instance, it’s important to replace windows soon, as failing seals will only continue to worsen over time and culminate in major air leaks.
As windows age, outside noise can sound progressively louder from inside the home, making it impossible to achieve a peaceful and quiet environment indoors. Older windows, particularly single-pane windows and even some double-pane windows, easily transmit outdoor sound vibrations to the inside of a home. “Modern energy efficient windows address this issue because their design allows them to absorb sound waves, rather than allow the sound waves to penetrate the glass panes and subsequently enter the home,” Scott said. “This useful feature will help you relax in your home and sleep more soundly at night.”
Decay is another obvious indication that windows are no longer serving their purpose. Rotting wooden window frames are a clear signal that the windows should be replaced immediately. “Not only do they look unsightly, but also rotting wood can interfere with the window’s functionality, which raises energy bill costs,” he said. “Not to mention, if left untreated, rotting windows can cause serious structural damage.”
If your home’s windows are exhibiting one or more of the aforementioned signs, then it’s time to seriously consider window replacement. “Moreover, it’s imperative to keep a home at a warm, consistent temperature during the winter season in southeastern Wisconsin when the frigid air settles in; however, if a home’s windows continually leak warm air, then this is an impractical feat,” Scott said. “So not only will replacing windows keep you warm and cozy during the winter season, but it will also save you money on home energy costs, improve security, and drastically update and improve your home’s curb appeal.”