When Should You Replace Your Windows?

The functional aspect of windows is clear: they let natural light into the interior of a home and permit people to see out or look in. They also allow fresh air to enter while preventing warm air from escaping. Windows have a lifespan of 10 to 20 years. Window replacement can reduce your energy bills, prevent water damage to interior walls, and update your home’s exterior. Here are some signs that you might need new windows.

When the Windows are Single-Pane

If your home is over 20 years old there is a good chance that the windows guarding your home’s exterior are single-pane. A good indication that they are is the appearance of condensation on the windows after cooking a meal, having a shower, or other instances of warm air coming into contact with cool glass.

Even when they appear to be in good shape, single-pane windows are generally not energy-efficient. Unlike today’s windows, older types of single-pane glass don’t have the kind of glazing that keeps UV rays from entering your home and fading the carpets, wood flooring, and upholstered furniture.

When a Room is Drafty

Keep in mind that when heat escapes your home in the winter, the windows are mostly to blame. If the living room is consistently drafty or an upstairs bedroom never really gets warm, windows are letting cold air in.

Check to see if weatherstripping has been installed in the past, and if it has, replace it if it is worn, cracked, or discoloured. When there is none, use weatherstripping to eliminate cold air coming in through the windows. Also check to see if windows are adequately insulated.

Depending on the type of weather stripping, it can last up to five years. However, when sealing around the windows no longer is effective, window replacement is a permanent answer to drafty rooms.

When a Room is too Warm

The opposite can be true in the spring and summer months. When cool air is allowed to escape through cracks and gaps around window panes or warm air infiltrates inside, you’re cooling the outside of your home and making the AC work overtime. Energy-efficient windows will keep a room cool in summer while lowering your utility bill.

When Window Trim is Damaged

Window trim can be damaged by water causing the following:

  • Stained interior walls
  • Stained siding
  • Wood rot
  • Mold growth

Stained interior walls means rain is coming in from the outside while stained siding can be the result of a chemical reaction caused by rain working its way through damaged window trim.

When windows are made of wood they are susceptible to water damage, specifically wood rot. Wood that has been compromised doesn’t hold panes tightly in place as the frame should, allowing them to become loose and let air in or out.

If mold appears on window trim or the window sill, it is a definite sign of rain leaking into and around the windows or condensation building up on the glass from inside the home.

When You Want to Improve Security

If your home is over 20 years old and there’s never been a window replacement, buying new windows allows you to choose security features that will make you and your family more secure. Particularly if you have young children in the home or grandchildren who visit regularly choosing eco-friendly windows with child-proof safety options will add an additional level of security.

Windows that stick are a safety risk. In the event that you and your family need to exit your home in an emergency situation, you want windows to open smoothly, not stick at a point where there’s not enough room to escape.