Whether you’ve lived in your home for years or you just moved into an older house, there are undoubtedly a few things you’ll want to check, repair, and replace as soon as possible. Homeowners are always looking for ways to add value to their houses. But, it’s also important to keep up with regular maintenance. Taking care of small problems now can help you to avoid bigger ones, in the future.
One home maintenance issue that often gets overlooked, however, is the state of your windows.
Most people don’t inspect their windows unless they think there’s a problem, or unless they’re broken. But, if your windows aren’t in top shape, they could be costing you money and, again, could eventually cause even more damage.
So, how do you know when it’s time to get your home windows replaced? Let’s look at a few obvious signs.
You Feel a Draft
One of the most obvious signs that your windows aren’t doing their job is if you notice drafts in your home. Do you feel a cool breeze whenever you walk by a window? Or, can you actually hear the wind whistling in your house on chilly nights? If so, your windows may not be properly sealed.
If you already have newer windows, a draft could be fixed by simply resealing them. But, if your windows are old, they might be pulling away from the walls. That’s especially problematic in older windows with wooden frames.
One of the biggest problems with drafty windows is that they will cause your utility bills to rise. When cold air gets into your home in the winter, your furnace will have to kick in more frequently, causing your heat bill to go up.
Your Bills Keep Rising
Speaking of your heat bill, actually looking at the trends of your utility bills over time can let you know there’s a problem. Even if you don’t notice a draft from your windows, your utilities don’t just continuously climb for no reason.
Take a look at your gas/heat bills over the last year, and from years prior. Have they consistently gone up? What’s the difference between five years ago and now? Windows that need to be replaced will get worse each year and let in more air (while letting heat escape), so you should notice a growing trend if there’s a problem.
No matter where you live, frequently seeing condensation or frost on your windows is a sign they’re in bad shape. Condensation occurs on windows when the moisture inside your house collides with the cold surface of the window. While it can happen for several reasons, it might mean that your windows are weak or they are so cold because of the cool drafts surrounding the glass.
Whatever the reason, seeing condensation form on your windows all the time is a sure sign that it’s time to replace them.
Additionally, pay attention to moisture build-up between your window panes. If you have double-pane glass, the manufacturer should have injected a specific type of gas between the panels to insulate them. Moisture between the panes indicates that this was done improperly, or that the seal has broken.
You Hear Everything
It can be nice to hear the birds chirping in the morning, but it shouldn’t feel like you’re outside with them! If you live in a noisy neighborhood where construction and traffic are common, hearing those sounds loudly out your window isn’t exactly pleasant, either.
Older windows weren’t created with excellent “soundproofing” ability. They don’t have as much insulation as today’s windows. So, it can often seem like whatever noises are occurring outside seem louder. Fixing that problem is a personal preference, depending on how much those sounds bother you. But, if you’re tired of the noise, it could be time to replace old windows with new ones.
Should You Consider New Windows?
When they are properly taken care of, home windows can last anywhere from 20-25 years. But, not all windows are created equally. If you notice any of the signs listed here, or you just want to boost your curb appeal, you should consider investing in new windows all around your house.
Replacement Windows are a great way to add value to your home, keep you and your family safe and comfortable, and potentially lower your utility costs, in the process. So, whether you’re unsure of how old your windows are or you want to stop small problems before they turn into major ones, consider swapping out your old windows for newer ones that will last for years.