Your windows can be losing as much as 25% to 30% of your heating energy. This can easily double if they have problems like gaps, failed seals, or cracks.
If you see cracks on your window panes, then that’s a solid sign that you should replace them. However, it’s not always easy to tell when to replace windows, especially if you’re not sure what to look for. Moreover, some signs are more tactile than visible in nature.
Don’t worry though, as we’re here to share the details on how to tell if you need new windows. Keep reading so you’ll learn when exactly to get new windows to keep your home safe and comfy!
1. They’re 10 Years or Older
Did you know that over a third of all residential properties in the US are 50 years or older? All in all, more than half of all owner-occupied homes in the country have been around before 1980.
If your home is one of these, and you’ve never had your windows replaced, then it’s likely that you need new windows. It still depends on their materials, but most windows only have a 10- to 30-year lifespan.
If your existing windows are these old, it may be time for window replacement. This is especially true if they also exhibit one or more of the other symptoms below.
2. Drafty and Chilly Are Your Home’s New “Norm”
A home that’s in good condition should never be too chilly, especially not if you have the heater on. This is one of the top signs you need new windows, as your old ones may already have too many drafts. These drafts are wafts of cold air that enter your home through gaps around windows.
Old age is a major cause of these gaps, as your window frames may have already warped. Warping can cause the frames to bend or twist out of their original shape. If this happens, the damaged areas can leave holes, which is where cold air from outside can enter.
3. Rattling Noises from the Windows
Rattling almost often occurs alongside drafts. Warping, after all, can create enough gaps for the windows to lose their snug fit on the frame. As the windows lose their “grip” on the frames, they can vibrate at the slightest pressure or force of winds.
You may think that these noises are only a nuisance, but they also can be a safety hazard. With enough pressure, the glass panes can shatter. If this happens when someone’s near the window, they might get injured by the glass shards.
4. You Still Have Single-Pane Windows
As of the latest report, some 48.5 million US homes still have single-pane windows. In the past, the use of single panes was enough, but that was before global warming started to take effect. Global warming makes summers way hotter and the winters much colder.
This means that single-pane windows are no longer energy-efficient today. They allow more heat and cold to enter and exit your home. This translates not only to uncomfortable homes but also to higher energy bills.
If you still have old single-pane windows, consider upgrading them to multi-pane ones. Be sure to get Energy-Star rated replacements, as these have shown to lower energy bills by 12% on average.
5. Condensation or Frost Always Forms Inside Your Windows
As energy-efficient as multi-paned windows are, their seals can still fail. Failed seals are the top culprit behind water droplets or frosting between panes.
The good news is, you can still have window experts repair and replace those failed seals. This will help prevent future condensation problems.
However, resealing alone won’t bring back the original energy-efficiency of your multi-paned windows. That’s because the failed seal already let the insulating gas escape from the panes.
In this case, you may want to consider replacing your windows in their entirety. Be sure to check their warranty though — most multi-pane windows now have 10- to 20-year warranties.
6. “Dirt” Streaks Between the Panes
From white to black and green to brown, these streaks are often an indication of moisture issues. Most likely, what you have between those window panes isn’t “dirt” but mold and mildew.
Moisture problems in windows usually arise from water-damaged window frames. Add to that failed seals, which allow the moisture to penetrate the cavity between the panes.
It might be best for you to replace your windows if they’ve sustained serious water damage. Otherwise, the damage may spread to the surrounding wall area. That will be a much more expensive home repair project.
7. You Set the AC or Heater Thermostat Higher or Lower Than Necessary
78 F is the recommended setting for ACs during summer when you’re at home. In the winter, it’s advisable to set your thermostat to 68 F.
Of course, you should still adjust this depending on your own comfort levels.
What if you have to always set it as low or as high as possible? If it’s not your HVAC system that has a problem, then it’s likely your windows to blame.
Damaged windows can waste even more of your conditioned air through gaps or failed seals. In this case, it’s best to start planning your window replacement project ASAP.
8. Shockingly-High Energy Bills
Cranking your thermostat as high or as low as possible will result in higher energy bills. The thing is, old, drafty, or damaged windows will still bleed out all that conditioned air. So, it’s a constant cycle that raises your energy use while also straining your HVAC system.
Before your AC or heater breaks from all the added strain, consider getting new windows. This way, you can also save money on better-performing, more energy-efficient windows.
Learn When to Replace Windows To Keep Your Home Comfy Year-Round
By knowing when to replace windows, you can save on your heating and cooling bills. You can also keep your home comfortable throughout the year. Most importantly, you can avoid mishaps with broken glass panes.
So, as early as now, be sure to follow this guide on when and how to tell if you need new windows! The sooner you get those damaged windows replaced, the sooner you can make your home safe and comfy again.
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