Your home would never be complete without windows. Windows are your ultimate source of natural light and proper ventilation. They also serve as your home’s safety exit in case of emergencies. Since they play an essential role in your home, you must ensure that they’re in tip-top condition.
Most windows usually last for about 15 to 20 years, but over time, they start to show signs of wear and tear, such as weak seals that let water seep through and cold air enter. So, when your windows have aged, you’ll need new ones, such as Northern Virginia replacement windows.
Read on to learn more about the signs that it’s time to replace your windows.
1. Cracked Window Panes
One of the most obvious signs that your windows are no longer in great shape is cracked window panes. Windows crack or break because of several factors: fluctuations in temperature, sudden impacts, and weather conditions.
Fluctuations in temperature lead to what are called stress cracks, which are generally found near the edge of the window. For example, cranking up the heat to stay warm at home on a chilly day causes stress cracks. These cracks are small at first, but eventually, they start to develop and spread across the glass. This is why it’s important to address the issue immediately if you notice even a minor crack in your window frame.
Sudden impacts that break your windows could be anything, such as rocks or balls thrown by someone. Impact breaks are easy to spot since they feature a starburst pattern that fans out from the point of impact.
On the other hand, pressure cracks are cracks that form because of weather conditions, specifically drastic pressure system changes in the weather. Though they’re less common, they appear all of a sudden. You’ll usually see them on double-paned or insulated windows. If your windows are placed too low or too high, they’re most likely to have pressure cracks, which take the shape of an hourglass.
Whether your windows show stress cracks, impact breaks, or pressure cracks, you’ll need to install new windows.
2. Damaged Window Frames
Apart from cracks, you should check the condition of your window frames. Frames are a crucial element since they support your window. On top of that, they help prevent any external factors from entering, such as water, bugs, and dirt.
Thus, window frames that are cracked, damaged by water, or have decayed call for a replacement.
3. Recurring Drafts
A window normally includes weather stripping or seals to keep air in and out. However, drafty windows may be difficult to identify. You might think that some areas in your home just feel colder. But if you notice that these areas are near windows with no vent close by, then there’s most likely a draft.
Drafty windows cause higher electricity bills because the HVAC unit would have difficulty cooling or warming up your space. They could make your place feel more humid as well since rainwater may get in.
To fix a drafty window, you can reapply another set of weatherstripping. But if that doesn’t work, you’ll have to replace your windows.
4. Interior Window Condensation
Under cold or warm temperatures, windows look a bit misty. However, if you notice condensation on window panes, you’ll have to replace them. Condensation occurs because the surface temperature of the window is colder than the air inside your space. It’s a sign that the desiccant inside the windows is saturated or the seal between the panes is worn out.
In other words, condensation on the inside of your windows means that your home is humid or your windows are letting air escape. Note, though, that condensation on the outside of windows is perfectly normal because it means that it’s just more humid or warmer outdoors than it is indoors.
You can try resealing your windows, but doing so might ruin the appearance of your windows and may not be effective. So, it’s better to install new windows.
5. Loud Noise
The noise that you hear outside is uncontrollable and inevitable. The only thing you can do is to minimize it. You can reduce noise by installing thick walls and insulating your windows properly. But if the noise outside seems to be louder than it should be, it might be time to replace your windows. Soundproof windows would be a great option.
Having soundproof windows doesn’t completely eliminate any outside noise, but rather, it helps minimize it. Since noise travels through air and material, you need to ensure that your windowpanes are thick enough to lower outside noise.
Single-pane windows hold the lowest number of materials to slow sound waves, so if you have them, you can replace them with dual- or triple-pane windows. With additional panes of glass, the amount of noise that travels is lessened.
6. High Electricity Bills
There are various reasons why people receive high electricity bills. It could be using appliances excessively during the day, operating a high-voltage device, or leaving devices plugged in all the time. But if you know that none of these apply to you, then it’s probably your windows.
As mentioned earlier, poorly insulated windows prevent your HVAC unit from working effectively, causing cold or warm air to travel in and out of your home. Since your HVAC unit has to work harder to maintain the temperature of your home, your energy bill shoots up.
You can verify this issue by touching your window panes during the day. If they’re hot or cold to touch, they’re no longer efficient.
7. Faded Furniture Or Carpet Due To Direct Sunlight
Carpet or furniture that has faded because of sunlight is a sign that you need new windows. Your old windows may lack UV protection that modern windows with low-emissivity (low-E) provide. Low-E glass is prepared with a microscopic film that blocks solar heat and UV rays.
To keep your furniture, carpet, or even curtains from fading and make your home cooler, invest in windows with low-E glass.
8. Outdated Appearance
Outdated windows may not pose a problem, but they’re nonetheless a valid reason to update them. If your home was built a few decades ago, your windows probably feature an old-fashioned design. Although they still function well, they’re not appealing to the eye.
Changing your windows can make a huge difference. For instance, modern designs, such as floor-to-ceiling windows, will liven up your place. They attract more natural light, turning your home into an inviting one and increasing its curb appeal. Moreover, they treat you to stunning views, whether you live in the countryside or city. You get to admire views of the surroundings anytime you want, such as rivers, lakes, mountains, rolling hills, city lights, or a serene neighborhood.
You can consider other popular window styles, such as the following:
They’re some of the most classic designs that open when you lift the bottom half of the window to let air in. Their upper sash is fixed in place while the lower sash is maneuverable.
Unlike single-hung windows, double-hung windows feature two sashes that are operable. So, the upper or lower bottom half of the window can be opened, making them great for ventilation. They’re ideal for traditional-modern homes, such as bungalows and farmhouses.
They come with mechanical cranks that open and close them. However, they open from the bottom when cranked, with the top edge remaining stationary as the bottom turns up and outwards.
They’re perfect for areas with wet climates. You can open them when it’s raining since their glass acts as an awning that keeps water from flowing through.
Similar to awning windows, casement windows swing in or out like a door. They’re modern in style and are practical for attracting cooling breezes.
If you want to add a nook to your home, bay windows will go well with it. You can also use them as a visual centerpiece in a family room, a living area, or a parlor.
Bay windows are usually composed of three or more connected windows that treat you to wonderful views of surroundings or a landscaped setting like a front yard.
Bow windows are similar to bay windows. But they include angled edges where the windows join, forming a half-circle shape that makes your space unique and attractive.
Another classic design, sliding windows open by pushing them to the side. They’re quite common in many homes since they’re affordable, long-lasting, and functional.
Windows that are damaged or worn out will make your home less comfortable and safe to live in. Hence, it’s important to replace them if you spot any of these signs.