Replacing the windows on your home will get you a 74% return on investment, and that figure keeps going up.
If you’re considering selling your house, replacing your windows is worth the cost up front. Even if you’re not selling your house, replacing your windows can save you money by reducing your heating and cooling costs.
How do you know when to replace windows?
Keep reading for 10 signs it’s time to get new windows.
1. When They’re Old
The age of your windows is a good indicator of when they need replacing.
While old windows might still be functional, there’s a good chance they’re not very efficient. Windows that are over 20 years old should definitely be replaced.
If you’ve lived in your home for decades and have never replaced the windows, they are likely original to the house. Replacing your windows will bring you up to date with the latest window technology.
Older windows are likely to be made with pane glass. Even if they are dual pane windows, they probably aren’t energy efficient. The Energy Star program started in 1992, so if they are older than that, it’s time to replace.
Modern windows are made with a special glazing that will protect your home. Older windows that lack this glazing allow UV rays to entire your home through the windows.
UV rays cause fading of carpet, furniture, and curtains.
Modern windows also use something called Low E glass. This type of glass helps keep your home at a consistent temperature throughout the year. It is also less likely to fade in color.
2. When They Won’t Open
If your windows won’t open or stick when you open them, it’s time for new ones.
Windows can get stuck shut for a few different reasons. If your old windows are made of aluminum, they can swell when the temperature changes.
The springs in the handle often stop working when you squeeze them to release the lock. If your older windows are made of wood, the painted frame can prevent them from opening over time.
Windows that won’t open are a real problem. For one, they are practically useless. There is nothing quite like sleeping with your window open on a cool fall night.
During season changes, opening your windows can cut down on heating and cooling costs.
Then, there is the issue of safety. Having windows that do not open is a major safety risk. If a fire were to occur, your windows may be your only exit.
3. When It’s Hot
Windows aren’t just for looks; they also help with ventilation in your home.
If your home is particularly hot when your windows are closed, they might need replacing. Older windows don’t have the most efficient insulation.
Proper insulation works to keep heat out when the sun shines on them. According to Energy Star, windows that gain their certification can reduce your energy bill by 12%.
If you have picture windows that do not open, you are not getting proper airflow to get your house cool. There are many different window style options that all offer ventilation when the window is opened.
Opening windows around your house will allow cool air to circulate, saving you money on air conditioning and keeping you comfortable.
4. When It’s Loud
Did you know that windows offer sound control?
Older windows are lacking in this area. If you are plagued by outside noises, you should consider replacing your windows.
Windows are supposed to provide acoustic insulation to reduce the amount of external noise you hear in your home. A window’s ability to block sound is measured by it’s Sound Transmission Class (STC).
Windows with higher STC rating control sound better. Older windows with a single pane typically rate in the 18-20 range. Standard new windows, which feature a glaze, usually rate around 28-32.
If this isn’t good enough for you, window manufacturers make special windows with STC ratings of up to 48 to protect homes in, especially noisy environments. Choosing a window that works for the level of noise pollution near your home can reduce stress and improve your comfort.
5. When They’re Damaged
While this one seems pretty obvious, the consequences of not replacing broken windows are not always obvious.
Windows that are visibly damaged need to be replaced sooner than later. How do you tell if a window is damaged?
You could have damage to the frame or the glass. The frame could be worn down or chipping. There might be water stains on or around your window. The frame might be broken or warped in shape.
Finally, the glass on the window might be broken. If your window has water damage, you want to get it fixed as soon as possible in case it is allowing water to get in.
Obviously, if the glass is broken, the window needs replaced. Broken windows can negatively affect your home in a number of ways. They will offer reduced efficiency when it comes to heating, cooling, and sound control.
More importantly, broken windows could lead to more damage by allowing water or other intrusions into your home. If a burglar sees your broken window, part of his job is already done for him.
If your windows are broken, don’t wait around to replace them.
6. When You Feel a Draft
Windows are a prime spot for heat (or cool air) to escape your home.
You already spend enough on heating and cooling your home, so don’t throw your money away by letting the heat go out the windows. An average of 10-20 percent of your home’s heat exits through the windows.
We’re sure you can imagine the percentage with old or broken windows.
If you feel a draft when you stand near your windows or the window is cold to the touch, you should replace them. Modern windows are designed to be energy efficient and to keep the weather outside.
7. When You’re Renovating
Replacing your windows is not something you only do when they aren’t working.
It’s common to replace your windows to improve the look and feel of your home. If you are renovating or remodeling, choosing new windows can transform the look of your home and help express your design goals.
Even if you have a historic home and want to keep the windows in line with the time period, you can find wood windows over vinyl that will give you the look you desire with the benefits of modern efficiency.
Replacing your windows allows you to customize their looks down to the little details. You’ll be able to choose their color, frame thickness, and decorative grids.
Windows are important when it comes to expressing your style because they are visible both inside and outside your home. Window replacement doesn’t have to be an expense you dread. Getting new windows can be an exciting opportunity to improve the feel of your home.
8. When You Want to Change Their Function
When you’re renovating your home, replacing your windows isn’t just about aesthetics.
This is also an opportune time to improve the function of the windows in your home. Windows aren’t just for looks. Windows provide natural light, improve airflow, and can even serve as access points.
You might consider replacing an existing window with a glass door to access your patio or other outdoor living space. Replacing your windows during a remodel can improve your comfort.
If you have a picture window in a room you’d like to let air in, replace it with a window that opens. Maybe you have a window that obstructs your view. Replacing this window will transform your experience living in your home.
9. When They’re Hard to Maintain
Windows need to be cleaned at least once a year.
Older windows are a lot harder to clean than newer ones. This is usually because they don’t lift out of their tracks easily. Newer windows are specifically designed to be easily removable.
Newer window designs make it easier to clean windows on second stories. For example, double-hung windows allow the sash to tilt inward. This makes cleaning them from the outside fairly easy.
Properly maintaining your windows will improve their appearance and prolong their life.
10. When You’re Selling Your Home
Replacing your windows will give you a significant return on your investment when you sell your home.
Home buyers love seeing new windows on a home. New windows will increase your curb appeal and allow you to market the comfort benefits of modern windows such as reduced exterior noise and efficient temperature regulation.
If you try to sell your home with windows that are broken or won’t open, you’ll be paying up at inspection time.
It’s better to replace them ahead of time if you know they don’t work to establish trust with your buyers. If you don’t fix such an obvious issue, they will wonder what else you failed to maintain.
When to Replace Windows
Now that you know when to replace windows, if your windows might need replacing, don’t delay.
Contact us today for a free estimate to discuss your options and see how new windows can improve your home.