When you’re thinking about upgrades to your home, windows aren’t always the first things that come to mind. But windows influence everything from the look of your home to your energy bills, and they need to be upgraded every so often.
If you’ve been thinking about window replacements, but aren’t sure that the investment is necessary right now, here are seven signs that it’s time to update your windows now.
1. They Are Drafty
When you sit near a window, do you feel a breeze? Can you actually see the drapes moving from the drafts coming in? If so, it’s time for some new windows. As windows get older, they can break down and not be as efficient as they once were. This means they let cold air in during the winter and prevent your air conditioner from being as efficient in the summer. It’s not just drafts, that indicate a problem. If your windows stick, won’t stay open, fog up or have condensation, it’s time for an upgrade.
2. They Were Installed More Than 30 or 40 Years Ago
Nothing lasts forever — even windows. If the last time your windows were replaced was the Disco Era, it’s probably time to look into newer models. Not only are older windows more likely to have problems that lead to drafts and other issues, but window technology has advanced significantly in the last few decades, Today’s windows are more energy efficient than ever, and they can help reduce your heating and cooling bills by as much as 25 percent.
A Baltimore home window replacement specialist can help you select the perfect windows for your location to maximize their energy efficiency.
3. They Are Cold to the Touch in the Winter
Drafts are not the only sign that your windows aren’t doing a good job keeping the cold out. If your windows are especially cold in the winter or hot in the summer, that’s often a sign that they are no longer adequate. If you wake up to find condensation or ice on the inside of your windows, window replacement is a must.
Not to mention, older windows with these issues are typically not coated with adequate (or any) UV protection, meaning that your furnishing are probably fading more than you would like them to. Again, new windows can solve these problems, allowing for better temperature regulation and protection from the sun’s rays.
4. There Is Visible Damage
Cracks in the window panes, or on the window frames, are signs that time is taking its toll on your windows. Water stains or other visible damage, such as rotting, is also a sign that you need to do something. In extreme cases, windows can even become loose or fall out of their frames due to settling and shifting of the home’s foundation. Any of these issues indicate that a replacement needs to be a priority.
5. There Was a Major Storm Recently
Experiencing a hurricane or other major storm doesn’t automatically mean that you need new windows, but if your home sustains damage, it’s likely that new windows are in your future. If you live in a coastal area, the sea salt and humidity can wreak havoc on your windows, so it’s worth replacing older models with newer ones that are designed to withstand the harsh elements.
Windows made with a durable fiberglass, for instance, are more resistant to chips and cracks than wood or vinyl windows. At the very least, if you live in a storm-prone area, regularly inspect your windows and be prepared to upgrade or repair as needed.
6. Your Energy Bills Are Higher Than Normal
Old, drafty windows can wreak havoc on your energy bills. If you are finding that you need to turn up the thermostat more to stay warm, and your heat and power bills are skyrocketing, don’t be surprised if your windows are the culprit. While all windows allow warmth from the sun in to your home, that heat is reduced if the windows are also letting in cold air. Invest in new, energy-efficient windows to stay warm.
7. Your Home Needs a Curb Appeal Upgrade
Finally, windows are a major part of your home’s curb appeal, whether you realize it or not. Old, worn-out windows are going to make your home appear old and worn out as well. Few things give the appearance of overall neglect like warped, chipped, peeling or otherwise unattractive windows, so replacing old windows can give your home a major facelift and in many cases, increase its value.
Replacing windows isn’t the least expensive home upgrade, but it’s one of the most effective when it comes to improving appearance, energy efficiency and comfort. If you see any of these signs that your windows need replacing, don’t hesitate to start exploring your options.