When It’s Time To Replace Your Windows

AAA Print

When it comes to home maintenance, there are many things that are easy to neglect. Windows shouldn't be one of them. They are the eyes to your home, and allow you to experience the outdoors without being exposed to the weather and other outside elements.

There are several things that could go wrong with the windows around your home. You want to make sure that you fully examine your windows before you begin the process of replacement. Here are some things to look for if you are considering window replacement:

  • Broken, cracked, or warped glass
  • Little to no insulation
  • Increased condensation
  • The inability to open or close
  • Seal failure
  • Environmental friendliness

1. Broken, cracked, or warped glass:

It will be easy to tell if the glass is broken or cracked, but much harder to determine if it's warped. If you've ever closely examined a pane of glass, you'll notice how smooth it is. Warped glass will not look smooth, but rather appear like an un-ironed shirt. To be sure, stand next to the window and examine it from the side.

2. Little to no insulation:

Windows are meant to allow you to access the outdoors without dealing with the weather. Although they offer increased natural lighting, and can fill your home with the warmth of the sun, they should not make a drastic climate change to your home. There are many ways to check the insulation, including:

  • Checking to see if the window is cold or warm to the touch
  • Stay near the window to see if you feel a drastic change in temperature
  • Placing a thermometer on your window sill

3. Increased condensation:

If your window has attracted a considerable amount of condensation, it could be a sign that it's time for a replacement. Many older, single-pane windows are affected by large amounts of condensation. Before you invest in a new set of windows, make sure that the condensation is not being caused by you. Check to see whether:

  • The internal temperature of your home is too low
  • The drapes or blinds on your window are too heavy
  • Moisture from the kitchen or bathroom is playing a role in the condensation
  • There is little to no fresh air flowing through your home

4. The inability to open or close:

Older windows tend to get stuck. As resourceful humans, we tend to work our way around these types of things. Some people prop loose windows up with long, sturdy objects to prevent the window from crashing to a close. Others can only open their windows from the outside, and have to trudge through their lawns or gardens before they can have fresh air in their home. And a few people will have to use all of their strength to push open stuck windows. If you find you're doing any of these things, it's time to cut your losses and opt for a replacement.

5. Seal failure:

If you have double-paned windows, they could be victims of seal failure. Seal failure occurs when the sealant between the two panes breaks or deteriorates. Most window manufacturers try to prevent seal failure from happening, but it is often unavoidable. It is usually caused by:

  • High moisture environments
  • Poor frame design
  • Little to no pre-testing done on the window unit

An easy way to tell if your windows are suffering from seal failure is to check if condensation is appearing between windowpanes.

6. Environmental friendliness:

Over the last ten years, window manufacturers have become much more environmentally conscious when it comes to the design of their windows. Low-energy or "low-e" windows are now available at most home design stores and window manufacturers. Having proper low-e windows will decrease the amount of money you spend on cooling and heating costs for your home. There are three factors that differentiate low-e windows from regular windows:

  • Glass
  • Sealant
  • Frame

Instead of the traditional, double-paned windows, low-e versions ask for triple pane. The gas used to seal or glaze between panes will be something much more energy efficient like krypton or argon gas. When it comes to the frame, wood frames are the only truly low-e choice because they can be recycled, unlike most fiberglass or composite options.

Where to buy your new windows:

If you've decided it's time to buy new windows, you have two options:

  • Home stores
  • Window manufacturers

Before you commit to buying make sure you have researched brands, and allotted a budget. Check the measurements of your windows and go into the store knowing exactly what you want. Free delivery and installment can also save you a lot of money, so if one of your options offers these things, they could be the best bet. Leverage the internet as a resource, and check the list price for new windows before you make a purchase.

Last Updated: July 23, 2012
AAA Print

About Chanti Burnette Chanti was a freelance writer for IdealHomeGarden.com.

Note: The information provided on this site may be provided by third parties. The owners and operators of this site do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, and compliance of the content on this site. Such content is not and shall not be deemed tax, legal, financial, or other advice, and we encourage you to confirm the accuracy of the content. Use is at your own risk, and use of this site shall be deemed acceptance of the above.