If you’ve lived in your house for a long time, you might not spend too much time thinking about how your windows can do a better job at keeping your home well insulated. But even if you have full confidence in the performance of your home windows, it’s still important to keep an eye out for those telltale problematic signs of windows that have lived long past their expiration date. When your home windows aren’t doing their job, they’re actually causing tons of damage to your home without your even knowing it. Windows that aren’t performing on a high level would be causing cracks, wind gaps, and moisture leaks all over your home, making it impossible to create a temperature controlled environment. Whether your window trim is failing or the windows themselves have simply outworn their welcome, you’ll need to do something about it ASAP. If you think your windows are in need of an urgent upgrade, you shouldn’t waste any time replacing them. If in doubt, here are a few signs that your windows are on their last legs.
1. Your Bills are Through the Roof
Every homeowner wants to find new ways to save on bills through the year. While some of those bills can’t be easily reduced, energy bills are definitely within your control if you’re looking to save. When you have old, leaky windows, you’re not only living in an uncomfortable environment that never gets fully cool or warm, you’re actually spending way more money than you have to each month. Leaky windows make you crank up the heat or the A/C without a ton of results, causing you to literally leak money each time you try to use your HVAC system. If you’re noticing that your home is always drafty, stuffy, or simply doesn’t respond to central heating or cooling, it’s probably time to swap out your old, single-pane windows for newer, energy-efficient models. These windows won’t just seal up all the leaks in your home, they’ll help you use less heating and cooling through the year by creating a totally sealed environment. There’s nothing better than finding out your energy bill has been cut in half after you’ve installed a few new sets of windows.
2. Your Frames are Suffering
One of the more obvious ways to tell if your windows are on their way out is to take a close look at the wood, aluminum, or vinyl material that surrounds them. While some materials are a bit hardier and built to withstand weather damage for years on end, you might find that more sensitive materials like wood will show a bit more strain. If your windows aren’t doing their job, you’ll probably see it in the state of your frames. If the wood around your window has warped, cracked, or shows signs of rotting, it’s time to replace the whole thing. Your windows don’t just serve to keep the drafts out of one room or one area. They connect to the walls, which are insulated and should help to keep your home warmer. However, if your frame is rotting or is in bad shape, it’s going to end up rendering the insulation in your walls pointless.
3. You’re Experiencing Drafts
If you’re not sure that drafts are the reason for your home’s temperature control problems, there’s an easy test you can do to figure out how much air your windows are letting in. On both the outside and inside of your windows, put your hand over the frame to see if you can detect any leaks. If it’s a more subtle problem, try moving your window around in its frame. If you’re hearing a rattle, it means the window is loose and letting in leaks.
4. Moisture is Building Up on Your Windows
If you’re experiencing air leaks, you’d better believe that more serious issues such as moisture and condensation buildup aren’t far behind. Once moisture gets into your home, it can be seriously difficult to put a pin in the damage. Any moisture in your home’s framework can cause serious issues like rotting and warping, and any condensation buildup can signal a more serious problem with your window’s functionality. If you have a newer insulated window, you want to make sure those hard water stains aren’t a sign of condensation buildup, which can mean that your window’s compressed insulation panel is broken or simply isn’t working to keep your home protected. Don’t underestimate the effect of condensation and moisture on the outside of your window: Get your window replaced or at least repaired as soon as you can.