Some homeowners have no idea how old their windows are. They may look OK from afar, but there might be some telltale signs that there are serious issues. Even if your windows aren’t that old, issues can arise at any time. Look out for these warning signs, and if any of them are familiar to you, it may be time to consider replacing your windows.
Mike Holmes is one of HGTV Canada’s go-to contractors and the host of Holmes and Holmes and Holmes: Buy it Right.
Can you hear the wind whistling through your windows? Can you feel the cold air coming in around the frame? Or hold a tissue to the window frame and see if it quivers. If your windows are in really rough shape, you’ll be able to see light coming through gaps in the frame. Drafty windows will definitely be more noticeable in the winter months when the cold air can be felt blowing into your home. This will have your furnace working overtime as it kicks in to keep the air inside your home at a comfortable temperature.
2. Increase in Energy Costs
With your furnace working overtime to compensate for your drafty windows, you’re sure to notice the increase on your energy bill. These high energy costs will also happen in the summer with your air conditioner working to keep your house cool. Think of all that wasted energy and money being thrown down the drain. Put your money towards investing in new windows and you’ll see big savings on your energy bill.
3. Single Pane Windows
Single pane windows offer no insulation or soundproofing and lack energy efficiency. Whatever the temperature is on the outside, your furnace and air conditioner will be working hard to combat those temperatures. If you still have single pane windows in your home, make the investment to go to double, or even triple-glazed. You’ll notice the difference on your energy bills, increase the value of your home, and reduce your carbon footprint.
4. Poor Window Operation
Opening and closing your windows shouldn’t be part of your daily workout routine – they should open and close with ease. A proper functioning lock is an added seal against air escaping from your home, as well as providing additional security. Anything less could mean that it’s time for them to be replaced.
Do you need some tissues for your weeping windows? When warm, moist air from inside your home meets with the cold surface of a glass window, we get condensation. Condensation can happen for a few different reasons, but if it’s constant and frost appears, then it’s a case of bad windows.
6. Moisture Build-Up Between the Panes
Double-glazed windows have argon or krypton gas injected between the panes to provide better insulation. Between the two panes of glass, there should be an airtight seal to reduce heat transfer. If this seal is broken, you’ll get moisture build-up on the inside of the outside pane of glass because that has the coldest surface. A cracked seal is a sure sign that it’s time to replace your windows.
7. Outside Noise
It’s nice to hear the birds chirping while you’re lying in bed in the morning, but you don’t want to hear every single thing going on in your neighbourhood. Older windows don’t provide much sound insulation, so if you can hear your neighbour’s car from way down the street, you might want to consider new windows to absorb those everyday sounds.
8. Decaying Frames
Even high-quality window frames can rot and decay over time. Being exposed to moisture and dampness causes rot and, in some cases, mould can develop. Take a close look at your window frames and sills. If there are signs of decay or mould growth, it’s time for new windows.
9. Curb Appeal
Windows are one of the most prominent features of your home and provide great curb appeal. If they look outdated, then your home will too. Modern and energy efficient windows will add value to your home while making a visual impact. There are so many options to choose from, so make sure to get input from a professional.
10. Visible Damage
Your windows are constantly exposed to the elements – harsh winds and rain, freezing temperatures and harmful UV rays. Check for things like cracks in the glass, or water damage. Are there signs of warping? Has the glass become so foggy that you can’t even see through your windows anymore? Windows are designed to provide ventilation, airflow and light to our homes. If any of these are compromised, then it’s time for a replacement.
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