Often times, windows are seen simply as a device to allow light and air into the home. While those are some purposes that they serve, they also have other benefits for the home. Like with everything, eventually the windows in your home age and are in need of replacement. Keeping windows in your home past their life span can cost you money as well as comfort. This article will explain how often your windows should be replaced, and what some signs are that your windows need to be replaced.
How Often Should My Windows Be Replaced?
Windows are not meant to last forever. A general rule of thumb is around 15 years for the lifespan of windows. Better quality windows can last for longer, especially those made with virgin vinyl, which can last for up to 20 years. However, if you’ve been living in your home for more than 15 years it’s definitely time to start thinking about replacing your windows.
There are also exceptions to this rule, as there are several reason’s why you would need to replace your windows prior to the 15 year mark. We will go over some of the reasons in the next section.
What Are Signs That I Need To Replace My Windows Early?
There are certainly some reasons why you would want to replace your windows before their average lifespan is over. A few of the reasons are below.
Cracked Window Pane or Frame
This one seems pretty obvious, if your window is cracked or the frame is cracked/deteriorating then it may be time to replace your windows. The reason being is that your windows become inefficient if they are broken. They are no longer sealing the home from the outside elements. They are also no longer keeping the home insulated. This means that more air is escaping through the window from the home. In addition, your heating/cooling system is going to have to use more energy to keep the home at the ideal temperature. As a result your energy bill is going to increase, which will definitely add up over time. Replacing your windows will restore comfort in your home.
While this issue only occurs in windows with more than one pane, if you have single pane windows in your house you should already be looking to replace them. Fogged glass is a sign of condensation on the inside of the window. This is a sign that there is a leak somewhere in the window. It is usually a very small hole, one that you wouldn’t be able to notice. When there is a break in the seal of your window it is also a sign that the gas inside is leaking. This gas, usually Argon or Krypton, is what insulates the window. So if the gas is leaking the window is not operating as efficiently as it can be.
This one only applies to windows with wooden frames. When you touch the frame of your window and it is soft, not rigid, this is a sign that the wood is beginning to rot. The rest of the window could still be operating, but this is an early sign that you are going to need to replace your windows. It is also recommended to go with windows that frame’s are made with virgin vinyl to ensure that this problem doesn’t occur again in the future.
Hard To Open And Close
Over time, the act of opening and closing your windows creates small divots and grooves in the window track. After a while, it becomes hard to open and close the window. This may make it difficult to close the windows entirely, leaving a small gap open at the top. This is a great way for air to escape through the window. You may not think that this calls for an immediate need to replace your windows, and you’re probably right. However, it is a sign that your windows are getting old and are accumulating a lot of mileage on them. Exploring your options for window replacements would not be the worst thing in the world.
There’s nothing worse than feeling the cold air travel through your house on a winters day. Aside from being very uncomfortable, this is also wasting money. It means that somewhere in the home there is a gap in one of the windows, or that your windows are performing poorly entirely. Whatever the issue may be, upgrading your windows can completely eliminate the draft in your home.
High Energy Bill
This is a result of one or multiple of the aforementioned signs that you need to replace your windows listed above. If your energy bill is increasing annually while your habits are staying the same, then your windows could be the ones to blame. It would save you more money in the long run to have them replaced, opposed to continue to pay an exponentially increasing energy bill each year.
What Are The Benefits To Replacing My Windows?
There are many benefits to replacing your windows. Fixing any of the issues above are very important. In addition, you also will see a decrease in your energy bill, improved aesthetics in your home, increased property value, and more natural light in the house. Overall, even if your windows don’t suffer from any of the above symptoms, they still may be worth replacing.