How Often Should You Replace Windows
When it comes to improving the performance and efficiency of existing windows, downriver homeowners have a range of options to consider. You can opt for simple, low budget DIY fixes like replacing weatherstripping or installing window films or go with pricier solutions that require you to replace the entire window with a new one.
Many times, homeowners make their decision without totally understanding all their options, evaluating the implications of the changes in terms of improved energy efficiency and cost savings, or even factoring in the age of the existing windows. Although you don’t have to wait for your windows to be extremely drafty to consider a replacement, it is still important to understand how long your investment will last before it needs replacing again.
So, How Often Should You Replace Windows?
Many window contractors and professionals agree that new, quality windows should last between 15 and 20 years before you start to think about replacing them. Most companies producing vinyl windows often provide a 20 to 25-year warranty, which means it’s essentially a lifetime warranty – the expected lifetime of the product.
Starting around 15-25 years, you can expect to repair your windows regularly, adding caulking and insulation, and performing a number of other temporary fixes. But eventually, you will need to replace the entire window unit.
Some window manufactures may offer a guarantee on their products, which means they will replace faults for free during that time. However, when windows are beyond repair you will need to replace them sooner rather than later.
Signs You Need New Windows
Windows Aren’t Soundproofing Your Home
Modern windows are designed to reduce sound transfer which can make a huge difference in your quality of life, especially if you live near high traffic areas. If you can clearly hear noise from outside when you stand inside and the window is shut, this is a likely indicator that your window is quite old. So, if you want to enjoy peace and quiet, new is the way to go.
Windows are Leaking
Windows are there to let the light stream into your home, obviously. Well, that purpose can be ruined if moisture gets between the panes in double glazed windows, or you start getting a build-up of condensation on the inside. Yes, condensation can be wiped away, but this quickly becomes tedious and often means you could end up with mold growing on the inside of the frame. Mist or moisture inside the window glass can’t be resolved, it will simply stay there obscuring your view and blocking the light.
These issues usually occur when the seals have gone bad, or if the window wasn’t installed properly in the first place. The worst-case scenario is when the window actually starts to leak, and you end up with water inside your home. This can lead to flooring or even drywall damage. In all of these instances, it’s probably the most cost-effective option to simply replace the window as repairs could cause seals on other panes to fail, and the whole cycle, and cost of repairs, start again.
There are some types of window damage that can be fixed with new weatherstripping or a hardware replacement, and that should be done immediately. But a warped, broken, or damaged window sash or frame should just be replaced rather than repaired. A damaged window frame is not only unsightly, but also compromises the efficiency of the insulation, siding, and heating and air conditioning. The cracks can also let in small vermin and bugs.
This problem only happens if you have double- or triple-paned windows. Condensation gets trapped between the windowpanes, usually from an opening or hole that isn’t even noticeable.
If you have wooden windows, excess moisture can cause the windowsill to deteriorate and rot on the outside of the house. If the wooden windowsill feels soft to the touch you should consider replacing the entire window and the frame on the exterior. Even if you don’t notice any other defects on your window but can feel a soft frame, the window is likely to start breaking down in the near future.
Continually opening and closing your windows creates tiny grooves and divots over time. Eventually, the stress of multiple openings on the window can cause cracks to start forming on the frame. Depending on the severity, they can cause the window to stick while opening. This kind of wear and tear due to aging are good indicators that your windows need replacing.
Well-functioning windows should not let in air, except through specific openings that are designed to do so. If there are cold drafts getting into your home through other openings besides the vents, even after caulking and weatherstripping a few times, this is a good sign it may be time to get new windows installed.
High energy bills
A substantial proportion, approximately 41% of recurring household costs go towards heating and cooling your home. If you notice your energy consumption is going up, it is possible that your windows are the problem. Replacing old, drafty, single-paned windows with Energy Star certified products can result in substantial savings on your energy costs each month.