How often should you change windows in a house? Well, that depends on how well your current windows are working for you. Are your windows no longer serving their purpose? You have to decide whether you want more energy efficiency along with added extras that save you time and money; however, if your windows are reaching the point of no return, you want to look for signs of deterioration and any other indications that your windows have seen more than the light of day. Do they need to be replaced? What should you be looking for and what makes up replacing your windows? Here are some answers to those questions.
What to Look for with Deteriorating Windows
- Drafts or hot or cold air coming through windows and doors
- Windowpanes or frames are cracking
- Hardware is missing or damaged
- Double- or triple-paned windows are showing moisture retention between the windowpanes
- Excess buildup of moisture with wooden windows can cause the wood to soften and the wood to rot
- Windows or doors have sills that are peeling paint and splitting
- Struggling to open, close or lock your windows and doors
- Light is coming in through the underneath part of a window or door
- Moisture is building up between window panes causing fogged glass
- Utility bills have risen considerably
When you’re trying to improve upon what you already have with your windows and doors, there are do-it-yourself measures that can be of help. Depending on the condition of your windows, there are certain things you can do on your own that will improve energy efficiency and the general structure of the windows. They include
- Installing weather-stripping
- Re-caulking your windows
- Replacing the window frames
- Insulating your window areas
- Tinting your windows with window film
As a homeowner, you need to understand what you can do before full window replacement is necessary. You want to evaluate how you can improve upon your energy costs while limiting upkeep and increasing efficiency and comfort.
How Long Windows Last before Replacement
However long your windows have been in place, you will begin to see signs of wear anywhere from 15 to 20 years into the ownership of your home. Most window specialists agree that any quality windows should last from 15 to 20 years, and once it goes beyond that point it may be time to replace them.
There are companies that manufacture windows that use vinyl in their designs which adds to their longevity, and you may even get a lifetime warranty with such an offering. Whether your windows are wooden or vinyl, the eventuality of replacing them has to be taken into consideration. It’s always important to know how long new windows will last before you have to replace them again.
What Should be Replaced Whether than Repaired
- Warped, broken, or damaged window sashes or frames – A damaged window is one that isn’t attractive to look at, plus the other materials surrounding it, protecting it and insulating it are ineffective. In addition, losing both air conditioning and heating takes a toll on your energy bill, and any cracks in the window area can let in undesirable pests.
- Opening and closing your windows – This action creates small dips and indentations in your windows. These repetitive actions can induce stress points. Cracks can form on the frame and cause the window to stick. This kind of wearing action shows that replacement is necessary.
- If your windows are performing well, no air should come in – You only want air coming through the main opening. When drafts come into a home through other areas even when the window has had weather-stripping and caulking work done, it may be time to replace them.
- With double and triple-paned windows, moisture can become trapped – With both types of windows, moisture can easily enter either from a small opening that you didn’t notice. The moisture buildup takes on a foggy appearance. The inserted gas may be leaking as well, which is less effective than a window that is air-filled. If the leak continues, you might want to think about replacing the window.
- Is retrofitting the answer with an aging window? – Can adding a newer technology to your older damaged windows really fix the problem? You’ll want to think about whether retrofitting is the answer. It may benefit your budget, but will it help you in the long run? An energy check may be necessary to help you determine whether retrofitting or replacement is the answer.
- Reducing energy bills – Your windows may provide some heat through sunlight, but old and drafty windows can increase utility bills considerably. If you replace your windows with those that are considered energy-efficient, you can see a reduction in both air conditioning and heating bills. Think about Energy Star labeled windows as they can help you reduce your energy costs. Also, if you sold your home, new windows and the savings on utility costs can be written in as a good selling point.
Obviously, windows won’t last indefinitely. Yes, superior well cared for windows could last for over 20 years, but there are many variables that determine that outcome. If the windows you currently have placed in your home have passed that 20-year mark and are experiencing problems, you may want to talk with a professional. Complete the online contact form and a representative will get back to you with the answers you need to determine whether repairing or replacing your windows is the way to go. You’ll appreciate knowing what can be done.