Windows are a feature of our home that we tend to take for granted and not spend too much time thinking about. However, like most material things, they don’t last forever and can be subject to damage. But how do you know when it’s time to replace your windows or not? Sometimes small maintenance issues can turn into bigger problems and cost you more money in energy bills before you even know it. This is why it’s beneficial to look out for signs and replace your windows as soon as it’s necessary, before things get worse.
In this article, we’ll talk you through five signs you should look out for so that you know when it’s time to replace your windows and save yourself from unexpected costs.
1. You Feel a Draft
If you feel a harsh draft coming from one or more of your windows, this is a clear sign to get them replaced as soon as possible (especially if it’s winter!). However, drafts aren’t always this obvious. It’s a good idea to also intentionally check each of your windows from time to time to make sure there are no small breezes getting through. An increase in your energy bills may also be an indication of energy loss from drafty windows.
As we all know, living in a drafty house is far from comfortable and not an ideal way to live. Poor window insulation and drafts also reduce your home’s energy efficiency rating. This causes your heating system to work harder than it should, consuming more energy, which leads to you overpaying on your energy bills.
Drafts are usually caused by a problem with your window’s weatherstripping or seal. You’ll find these types of defects around the edge of your windows’ frames or in places of the window where the panes of glass open or move.
By replacing your old drafty windows and investing in new energy-efficient windows, you’ll improve your home’s insulation and overall energy score. This will make your home much more comfortable to live in and also help you to waste less energy (and therefore spend less money on bills!).
2. You Hear More Outside Noise
When you enter your home after a long day, you’re just looking forward to relaxing and putting your feet up…however, this isn’t easy to do when you can still hear the traffic and noisy neighbors from outside! If you feel like you’re hearing more noise from outside than you should, this could be a sign of a broken seal or that your windows haven’t been installed correctly.
If you’re replacing single or double glazed windows, you might be wondering: should you install triple glazing? Since triple glazed windows have three panes of glass, they are better at reducing noise levels. Having these extra panes also helps to improve your home’s insulation and reduce your energy bills. However, triple glazed windows are relatively expensive compared to single and double glazed windows. If you have the budget, then yes, triple glazed windows do tend to perform better. And this may be particularly ideal if you are sensitive to noise when trying to sleep. But if you don’t think it’s worthwhile, then double glazed windows are typically viewed as better value for money.
3. You Notice Condensation
Condensation on windows isn’t always a bad sign, however, you need to check whether the condensation is on top of the glass or in between the glass panes. If you run your finger over the glass and it remains dry, then this means the condensation is in between the panes and that there is a broken seal.
Condensation can be a nuisance in regards to obstructing the view from your window. However, the main reason it is problematic is that it can lead to moisture damage. This includes problems such as wood rot and mold growth. If this problem goes unaddressed, it can negatively affect your home’s structural integrity and worsen your home’s indoor air quality. This can have detrimental effects further down the line in terms of cost and your household members’ health.
4. Your Window Frames Are Damaged
If your windows aren’t opening and closing as smoothly as they used to, this could be a sign that the frames are warped or damaged. Factors like hotter temperatures and moisture build-up can cause windows to warp or expand. Some types of frame materials are more at risk to this than others. For example, timber windows are more prone to moisture damage than uPVC windows, which means they are more likely to warp and require more maintenance.
Alongside affecting the aesthetics and functionality of your windows, damaged frames can also lead to the abovementioned problems, such as drafts and water leaks from broken seals. It can also make your home an easier target for intruders, so it is crucial to fix this problem sooner rather than later for your own safety.
5. You Don’t Like the Style Anymore
This last sign may not be as crucial as the other four points, however, it can still make a difference to your home. Updating your windows to fit with your personal style can help make you feel more comfortable in your home. Furthermore, if you’re thinking about selling your home in the near future, then updating your windows to something more modern can help increase your home’s curb appeal and attract more potential buyers.
And thanks to technological developments, it’s now possible to install windows with security sensors or self-cleaning glass. This can help to protect your home from intruders and make maintenance easier.