woman sitting by a window

When was the last time you took a good look at your home’s windows? Take a few minutes now to check for the following warning signs, and if any of them apply to your windows, it may be time to consider replacing them.

Drafts — Can you hear the wind whistling through your windows? Can you feel the cold air coming in around the frame? Or hold a tissue to the window frame and see if it quivers. If your windows are in really rough shape, you’ll be able to see light coming through gaps in the frame. Drafty windows will definitely be more noticeable in the winter months when the cold air can be felt blowing into your home.

Increase in energy costs — With your furnace working overtime to compensate for your drafty windows, you’re sure to notice the increase on your energy bill. These high energy costs will also become obvious in the summer with your air conditioner working harder to keep your house cool. Put your money toward new windows and you’ll probably see big savings on your energy bill.

Single-pane windows — Single-pane windows offer no insulation or soundproofing, and they lack energy efficiency. If your home still has single-pane windows, make the investment to go to double- or even tripleglazed windows. You’re likely to cut your energy costs, increase the value of your home and reduce your carbon footprint.

Poor window operation — Windows should open and close easily. A properly functioning lock is an added seal against air escaping from your home and adds another level of security. If your windows and their locks aren’t operating properly, consider replacing them.

Condensation — When warm, moist air from inside your home meets the cold surface of window glass, you get condensation. Condensation can happen for a few different reasons, but if it’s constant and frost appears on the panes in the winter months as well, your windows probably need to go.

Moisture between the panes — Double-glazed windows have argon or krypton gas injected between the panes to provide better insulation. There should be an airtight seal between the two panes of glass. If this seal is broken, you’ll get moisture on the inside of the outside pane of glass because that has the coldest surface. A cracked seal is a sure sign that it’s time to replace your windows.

Outside noise — Older windows don’t provide much sound insulation, so if you can hear your neighbor’s car from way down the street, you may want to consider new windows to help absorb outside sounds.

Decaying frames — Even high-quality window frames can rot and decay over time. Exposure to moisture and dampness causes rot and, in some cases, mold can develop. Take a close look at your window frames and sills. If there are signs of decay or mold growth, it’s time for new windows.

Curb appeal — Windows are one of the most prominent features of your home and greatly impact curb appeal. If they look outdated, your home will too. Modern and energy-efficient windows will add value to your home and can make it more attractive. There are countless options to choose from, so make sure to get input from a professional before making a decision.

Visible damage — Check for things such as cracks in the glass or water damage. Are there signs of warping? Has the glass become so foggy that you can’t even see through your windows? Windows are designed to provide ventilation, airflow and light to our homes. If any of these are compromised, then it’s time for a replacement.

Source: “10 Signs it’s Time to Replace the Windows in Your Home,” Mike Holmes, HGTV Canada, hgtv.ca/renovations/photos/signs-time-to-replace-windows-in-home-1917902 (June 2018).
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