Feeling a bit of a cold draft in areas inside your home, but chalking it up to a minor inconvenience and throwing on a warmer sweater? While it can be tempting to skip out on home improvements and renovations for as long as possible due to the monetary investment required, at some point, the time comes when ignoring the issue proves itself to be more costly than dealing with it on time.
When installed correctly, windows are designed to serve your family and home for many years, but as with all things, they do not last forever. Ignoring the need for the replacement of your old, leaky, and unsecure windows can lead to a number of issues including increased energy bills, compromised home safety, and water damage, among others.
Knowing the signs that it may be time to replace your windows will help you to start differentiating inconveniences and maintenance from major issues, and budgeting for their replacement. Below we’ll be identifying the top 8 indications that you should look out for in order to determine when it is time to seriously consider investing in new windows.
So, When Should I Replace My Windows?
From structural integrity issues to functional and energy-related issues; here are a number of telltale signs that should indicate to you that it is time to take action on having your windows professionally inspected and replaced.
1) Your windows are tightly closed, but you still feel a draft.
This may be more common in older homes, but if you’re feeling a draft or breeze coming from your windows even when they are tightly shut, this could be an indication that it is time to have them replaced. There are a number of ways to draft-proof your windows, but at a certain point, if you are consistently feeling hot or cold air coming in, this is a good indication that your windows may have faulty seals, or that they are failing.
2) Your energy bills are increasing, but you’re not sure why.
Windows and drafts also play a large factor in your HVAC bills, and there is nothing worse than your bills slowly creeping upwards without explanation. Aging or compromised windows play a large factor here and can affect the energy efficiency of your home. Having new windows installed definitely aids in the regulation of temperatures, and takes the pressure off of your HVAC system, ensuring that it does not have to work harder than necessary. This means that window replacements can play a key role in decreasing your monthly energy bills.
3) It seems to be getting louder inside your home.
Your windows serve, in part, to protect you from the outside world. If you are noticing an increase in external noises, this could be an indication that your windows may not be properly sealed, that they are failing, or that it is time to upgrade to double or triple-paned glass. Double or triple-paned windows work to better keep sounds from entering your home.
4) You seem to be having trouble opening, closing, or locking your windows.
The components of a window that work to ensure it functions smoothly do wear out over time. It is not uncommon to experience a few maintenance issues, but when windows begin to increasingly lose functionality, or become difficult to operate on a regular basis, this is a sign that it may be time to get them replaced.
Functional troubles could mean that your windows were not installed properly to begin with and are now experiencing balancing issues, limiting their ability to adequately open or close.
Windows that are rusting or rotting may also become difficult to lock, which puts your family’s safety and protection in jeopardy.
Lastly, any issues with properly securing windows shut can create vulnerability in terms of allowing moisture to become trapped within your windows. Trapped moisture can then lead to additional structural damage over time.
5) You’re noticing that your window frames look or feel compromised.
Something to keep an eye out for is the integrity of your window frames. If they appear to be soft or chipped, it is likely that they are compromised and at the end of their life span. As mentioned above, issues such as water damage can lead to the deterioration of your frames, which can then lead to mold, rotting, and further structural challenges. If they haven’t already, you may notice that your frames begin to change shape and sag if the issue is not dealt with.
6) You notice cracks or damage to the actual panes of your windows.
This is one of the more obvious signs – but if you are noticing cracks in your window panes, it is definitely time to get them looked at. Similar to a lot of the other telltale signs listed above, cracked panes can become expensive in many different ways. From letting drafts in and therefore increasing energy bills to damaging the interior of your home by way of moisture damage, it is important to replace cracked windows before they turn exponentially costly.
7) You’re noticing more than a little bit of condensation on your window glass.
Condensation is an easy way to spot malfunctioning home windows and serves as an indicator that heat and moisture are not being properly blocked from infiltrating your home. If you are noticing a constant build-up of condensation between your window panes, this may indicate it is time to get them looked at before a more serious issue arises.
Noticing a build-up of frost or condensation between the layers of glass that make up your windows is usually a sign that your window seals have failed, and failing seals can lead to a number of different issues. Most notably, failed seals can greatly impact and diminish the energy efficiency of your windows and in turn your home.
It is also worthy to note that you should look out for a white film on the panes of your glass, caused by leftover calcium that remains intact once any moisture evaporates.
8) You are noticing that your windows no longer match the aesthetic of your home and other homes on your street.
Sometimes the need for a window replacement can stem from changing tastes. Perhaps you just moved into a new home and are noticing that the windows don’t particularly match your tastes, or you’re starting to notice that your windows are seeming a bit dated as you complete other home renovations. Either way, outdated aesthetics can also be a reason to explore window replacements, and with a variety of styles, colours, and configurations to choose from, there are beautiful options available for all styles and budgets.
I’ve Noticed One or More of The Above – Now What?
If you notice any of the above signs in any of your home windows, it is safe to make the assumption that they are no longer functioning to their full potential, and that it may be time for a professional inspection. Aside from protecting the safety of your family and the structural integrity of your home, installing new windows can increase the overall energy efficiency of your home and help lower your monthly heating and cooling costs.
Another factor to consider is the advancement of technology since your windows were last replaced. Consider factors such as the evolution of energy efficiency in windows and Energy Star ratings, professional installations, window security features, materials and glass thickness, and warranties.
When you’re ready to explore your residential window options, the professionals at Simpson Windows and Doors are here to help. We offer a number of different vinyl window styles, colours, and configurations at varying budgets that promise long-term performance in order to best fit your individual needs. Contact us today to upgrade your home with modern, energy-efficient window replacements!