10 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Windows
Windows only last so long. Typical windows, when well-maintained, last for about 30 years. When their service life is up, old windows can cost you money, decrease property value, and negatively affect your home’s curb appeal. If you’re wondering whether it’s time to replace your windows, watch for the following 10 signs it’s time to replace your windows.
1. Your windows are single pane.
Single pane windows were the norm at one point, but they’re certainly not anymore. Single pane windows often emit drafts and air leaks while increasing your utility bills and adding to the burden on your HVAC system.
You’ll probably be able to tell just by looking at your windows if they’re single pane, but if you’re not sure, hold a lit candle up to your windows at night (but not too close!). If your windows are single pane, you’ll see a single flame reflected. If your windows are double pane, you’ll see two flames overlapping. See three flames? You have triple pane windows!
2. Your home is always the wrong temperature.
Poor-fitting or poorly performing windows can make interior temperature control very challenging. If you’re always adjusting the temperature on the thermostat and endlessly feeling uncomfortably cold or hot, this could be a sign that your windows need to be updated. Have them evaluated by a professional – and check out your HVAC system too, as this could also be a sign of leaks in your ducts.
3. Your windows are constantly covered in condensation.
There are many reasons that windows collect condensation. A poor seal or an air leak is one potential cause. Humidity and moisture problems are another contributing factor. If the windows are single pane, the biggest problem could be the windows themselves, with their lack of insulation and exposure to outdoor temperatures. Condensation on windows can be a problem, causing mold, mildew, or rot on the windows or the frames that hold them. If your windows are constantly covered in condensation inside, replace them before they cause damage to your home.
4. You have to avoid sitting near windows in winter and summer.
If your home is uncomfortable near the windows throughout most of the year, this is a sure sign it’s time to replace your windows. You should not have to avoid certain parts of your house because the temperature outside has turned too hot or too cold.
5. Your windows are badly damaged.
If your windows are warped, rotting, or in need of constant repair, then they need to be replaced. You could be spending more money than is worthwhile to maintain your old windows.
6. Your windows just don’t look good anymore.
Curb appeal means something. Especially if you’re thinking about selling your home soon, windows that look bad could reduce your home’s curb appeal, which in turn could make your property harder to sell. Window replacement could lead to bigger, better offers on your property. New windows could even lead to faster offers. Homebuyers like homes that have had major systems replaced recently because that’s just one less thing for them to do when they move in.
7. Your windows are bringing down your property value.
Whether they’re contributing to problems in your house or just being an eyesore, old windows can bring down your property value. If you’re thinking about selling your home soon, your real estate professional can tell you whether your windows will be a problem for home buyers, and what you can do to make improvements.
8. Your utility bills are going up.
Leaky windows make it harder for your HVAC system to do its job. Over time, old windows add to the wear and tear on your HVAC system, reducing the effectiveness of your furnace and air conditioner. This causes your utility bills to go up as the HVAC system is forced to run harder and longer just to make your home comfortable.
It’s important to note that, if your utility bills are going up, there could be many reasons for this problem. Get an evaluation of your home’s various systems. An energy audit from a professional can help you identify the things that might be going wrong in your home.
9. Opening and closing windows is difficult or impossible.
Your windows should not be hard to open and close. While this is sometimes an indication of foundation problems, it is more likely an indication that your windows are either in need of repair or replacement. If your window contractor indicates that your windows are in good shape, have your home’s foundation evaluated by a structural engineer.
10. There’s moisture build-up in between your window panes.
Dual pane windows are sealed against the elements, but over time, those seals can fail. When this happens, moisture intrusion between the panes can cause your windows to become foggy. While this can be repaired, the cost can be significant. If multiple windows in your home are foggy, it may be time to replace your windows.