Old window on a homeOwning a home involves a lot of responsibilities, and it is important to be vigilant and stay informed regarding the state of your home to be sure that you are taking care of it properly. Regular maintenance on your home and its fixtures can prevent problems from building up over time and will prove to be more efficient in the long run than letting things go.

One feature of your house that has a significant impact, not only on home aesthetics but also on energy efficiency, is your windows. Windows should be periodically repaired or replaced depending on the accumulated wear and tear they have undergone in years past. Maintaining them well will ensure that they are not detracting from the appearance of your house, or causing an energy drain by allowing in either cold or hot air.

Obviously, replacing all or some of your windows is a big investment and requires a lot of work. Windows generally need to be replaced every fifteen to twenty years, and you may be able to extend the life of your windows by completing intermittent repairs during this time. You can clean your windows a few times a year to keep them looking clear and free of streaks and debris, and you can have them caulked or apply window stripping if you are suspicious that gaps and holes around your windows are causing air leakage. However, the following signs indicate that your windows are ready to be completely replaced.

  • You feel drafts in your home- Windows always detract from the insulation of your home and allow for some infiltration of outside air. Yet if you have begun to notice drafts in your home, it is likely that significant gaps have formed in your windows, possibly due to factors such as the expansion and contraction of sealants and the warping of your wood due to moisture.
  • You notice condensation between the window panes- Condensation in your windows is a sure sign that your windows are experiencing seal failure and need to be replaced. In the case of condensation, you might also notice a white film left on the glass from calcium deposits.
  • Your windows have become difficult to open and close - If you have trouble sliding your windows within the window frame, you probably should replace your windows. Difficulty in sliding or opening your windows is generally a sign that rot, rust, or general wear have taken their toll on your windows. This could even cause a hazard if your window is unable to stay open and slams shut on its own.
  • You've noticed a rise in your energy bill- If it is costing more and more to control the temperature within your home, your windows are probably beginning to detract from your insulation. Once your energy bill has been affected by poor insulation, it will most likely save more money in the long run to completely replace your windows rather than make attempts at repairs.