Many homeowners don’t know how old their windows are. While the windows look ok to the untrained eye, they might be missing some important signs of problems. If left unchecked, these problems can turn into major, very expensive issues that spread beyond the windows themselves.
If you notice drafts or leaks, decay around the glass, or high energy bills, it’s time to consider getting replacement windows!
You Notice Drafts And Water Leaks Around Windows
The most obvious sign that you need to replace your windows is when moisture and drafts can get into your home. You’ll notice these when you stand next to your windows on cold or hot days, or when it’s raining hard.
The most damaging can be water leaks. When windows let in any amount of moisture, the water can drip into the drywall around and below the windows and create pools of water on the floor. This can create the right environment for mould growth that goes unnoticed. If you see that your windows are leaking, you should call window specialists as soon as possible.
Drafts can be harder to detect, so get close to your windows on a cold day. Do you feel any drafts? Does the room feel cooler next to the windows than the rest of your home? Next, touch the glass of your windows; if it feels cold to the touch, that’s a good sign that a draft is cooling the warm air from your furnace when it gets within a few feet of your windows. If you detect any of these, seriously consider having replacement windows installed.
The Frame Is Decaying
There are kinds of window damage homeowners can fix themselves, like weatherstripping or replacing the hardware. But a broken or warped window frame or sash (the part of the window that holds and moves the glass panes) should be replaced rather than repaired. A damaged window frame hurts the efficiency of your home’s insulation and can affect the siding.
If you have wood windows and frames, excess moisture can rot the windowsill from the outside into the inner walls of your house. If the wooden sill feels soft to the touch, consider replacing the entire exterior of the window and frame. Even if there aren’t any other defects on the window, more are likely to form due to the rotten wood.
Your Energy Bills Are Very High
Windows are very important to your home’s energy efficiency, and older windows can be a major weakness. Often drafts and leaks go unnoticed; however, your HVAC system will feel the effects! It’s natural that when the temperature rises in the summer and drops in the fall and winter, your energy bills rise and fall, too. But when decaying wood frames let in drafts, your HVAC system works harder to compensate for all the hot and cold air lost by poor seals. Drafty windows can raise energy bills anywhere between 10% to 25%!
Even if the windows are in good condition, they could be old glass panes, making them less energy efficient. Older wood windows are often single-paned, making them more vulnerable to leaks. Newer, energy-efficient windows use a more durable frame material like vinyl, helping them stay solid and preventing air from moving in and out of your home. Vinyl windows should also last between 15 and 20 years before they need replacing. You may find the energy savings pay for the replacement windows after all this time!