Windows are much more than just ways to see out of your home. They add to the exterior aesthetics, keep the hot summer air at bay and make sure that the winter chill doesn't frost your home's interior. Unlike some of the other features in your home, such as the HVAC system or hot water heater, it's not always easy to know when your windows have stopped doing their job.
Waiting until the neighborhood kids' baseball comes crashing through your window isn't the only way to choose a replacement time. Your old, inefficient windows (or older glass) can reduce your home's heating and cooling ability and cost you money in the long-run.
How do you know when it's time to replace your windows? Take a look at the common signs that your old windows are ready to go.
1. Your Windows Leak Air
Feel around your windows. Is there a breeze coming in? You don't need to feel a major rush of wind to have a leak. Some drafty or leaky windows only let in small amounts of air, but this can still cause problems for your home comfort level.
Air that's coming in, and getting out, causes your heating and cooling systems to work harder. This can result in higher utility bills and it can also cause your HVAC system to break down prematurely.
Keep in mind, air leaks and drafts can come from air passing through the window itself (if you have old, single-pane windows), from cracks, or from the window's frame. Caulk and use weather-stripping around the window first. If this doesn't do the trick, then you may need to replace the entire unit.
2. Your Energy Bills Are Rising
Along with feeling for air leaks, reviewing your energy utility bills can also clue you into window issues. There are several different possibilities when it comes to a sudden spike in your heating or cooling costs.
The obvious reason for rising bills is your HVAC system itself. However, if your heater, air conditioner, or ventilation system is in perfect working order and is clean, then you may be looking at your windows as the costly culprit. This is even truer when the high bills are combined with noticeable drafts or air leaks.
3. Your Windows Were Installed a Long Time Ago
How old are your windows? Aluminum or aluminum-clad windows can easily last for 15 to 20 years or more. Vinyl or fiberglass windows can last longer, with a lifespan that typically ranges from 20 to 40 years.
Older windows simply aren't as efficient as newer ones. They don't have the modern technological advances that insulate your home and they may suffer from wear. If your older windows are still serving you well, then you don't have to replace them, for now.
However, if your home isn't comfortable, you have other problems (such as noticeable cracks or high-energy bills) or you just want a change, then it's a good time for new windows.
4. Your Windows Have Insulation Issues
Not all windows are insulated equally, and multi-pane windows are the better option for insulation. Multipane windows have two or three panes of glass. The glass panes aren't the only part of these windows that provides added insulation. A clear gas is pumped in-between the glass, providing an extra layer of protection from the elements.
If you aren't sure how well insulated your windows are, then a professional contractor can evaluate the glass and help you to make an informed decision about replacing them.
Do you need new windows? City Glass of Bloomington, Inc. can help. Give us a call today.