When’s the last time you replaced the windows in your house? Unless you had a really significant problem, or they were really old and deteriorating, the answer is probably ‘never’.
Most people tend to live with or ignore window problems, like putting up with windows that need a good shove to open and close, or that leak in a hard rain.
But just about any problem you have with one, some or all of your windows can be an indication that it’s time to replace them. Not doing so and continuing to live with the problems will make your home less comfortable, increase your energy bills and reduce your home’s value.
If you notice one or more of the following issues with your windows, they are symptoms of a larger problem and you should consider replacing your windows:
1) Drafts – When outside air gets in even through closed windows, it leads to a number of problems:
- Increased heating costs in winter and air conditioning costs in the summer
- More maintenance, repair and replacement costs for your heating and air conditioning equipment
- Less comfort because you get cold drafts in winter and, in summer, your home never seems to cool down
Drafts are an indication that your window does not fit properly or has problems with its seal. If you’re not sure that you have a draft problem, hold a lit candle near the window on a windy day. If it flickers, you have a draft problem. In winter, you will feel the cold coming through a drafty window just by standing beside it.
2) Condensation on the Inside – It looks great in those cozy winter scenes on holiday greeting cards, but condensation on the inside of your windows are a sign that the window’s seals are broken or they are otherwise not properly insulating your home.
3) Difficult or Faulty Operation – These are the issues we ‘live with’ the most. Who doesn’t have a window that sticks a little when you slide it open, or that doesn’t quite latch properly when you lock it.
But something like a sticking window could be a sign that the window or its frame is bent, which could lead to drafts and water leaks. The lock that doesn’t quite close could make it easier for intruders to enter. Any problem you have with the operation of your windows could mean a larger problem is present.
4) Water Leaks – This is another one we tend to rationalize instead of doing something about it. It’s not unusual for a window to leak in a storm, is it? Depending on the severity of the storm, that may or may not be true. But if your windows regularly leak when it rains, it’s a sign that the seals around the window frame may be cracked or that your window no longer fits properly.
In ‘When to Replace Your Home’s Windows Part 2 – The High Cost of Old Window Technology’, we’ll show you why your windows might need to be replaced even if you don’t have any of the problems listed above.