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Believe it or not, your windows play a big part in your home’s energy efficiency and overall comfort. When your windows are past their prime, their ability to do these things effectively diminishes. And when that happens, it’s time to replace your windows.
So, how do you know if your windows aren’t as energy-efficient as they should be or if they’re impacting your home’s comfort? We have five surefire signs that your windows should be replaced.
But first, let’s talk about how long home windows actually last. Many people believe their windows are fine as long as they’re not damaged, but that’s not quite true.
Home windows typically last 15-20 years. If your windows are approaching or are past that age, they become less effective at protecting your home from the elements. At this age, the seals start to weaken or fail, which leaves you open to drafts and water seepage.
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In addition, single-pane windows were the standard 15+ years ago. These windows lack insulation and are not as energy efficient as modern double-pane windows. If your energy bills have slowly crept up over the years, the energy company may not be completely to blame. Your outdated windows could be letting outside temperatures in – and letting the air you’re paying to heat and cool out. Upgrading to energy-efficient windows keeps your home’s temperatures more consistent, which allows your HVAC system to work more efficiently.
Here are five telltale signs your windows need to be replaced:
A broken window or visible damage on your window frames is probably the most obvious sign you need to replace your windows. When a window frame or pane is damaged, it’s more likely to break completely, which leaves your home susceptible to more serious damage like water seepage, mold and mildew, and pests. Not to mention the security risk! Getting a damaged window fixed as soon as possible keeps your family safe and helps you avoid more costly repairs in the future.
Close your window, lock it, and hold your hand at the bottom or top of your window sash where it meets the frame. If you feel air coming in, that’s a draft. It means that the outside air (which is typically quite humid here in Birmingham) is seeping in and the air you’re paying to cool is escaping. Not only does that make your home’s interior temperatures more uncomfortable, it’s very likely driving up your energy bills. If you feel a draft, it’s time to replace your windows.
That’s right, your windows may be to blame – at least partially – if your electric bills have slowly been rising. When the temperature-controlled air from inside your home escapes through drafty windows, your HVAC unit has to work harder and/or longer to compensate. This drives your energy bills up and the increased workload can shorten the life of your HVAC unit. Replacing outdated windows with new, energy-efficient ones helps lower your energy bill and ensures your air conditioner doesn’t need to work harder than is necessary.
Condensation on the outside of your windows is normal. It just means that it’s humid and slightly warmer outside than it is on the other side of your window’s glass. But when you see condensation inside your window, that’s a problem. It’s a sign that the insulation on your windows is failing.
Condensation inside your window usually means your windows are leaking air and/or your home is humid. If you have multi-pane windows and notice condensation between the panes, it means the air-tight seal has failed and the insulating gas is no longer effective. Either way, spotting condensation anywhere except the outside of your window is a definite sign they should be replaced. The good news is that if you’re a Window World customer, you’re covered by our lifetime warranty. Just contact us and we’ll take care of your windows!
If your furniture, carpet, rugs, or decor around your windows has faded, it’s probably because your windows aren’t offering the UV protection offered by modern windows with low-E (low-emissivity) glass. Low-E glass is treated with a microscopic film that keeps UV rays and solar heat from passing through. This prevents your furniture, carpet, and curtains from fading, and helps to keep your home cooler.
If any of these sound familiar, it’s time to trade your old windows in for new-energy-efficient ones! At Window World of Central Alabama, we offer a variety of window styles to fit your style and your budget. Contact us today to learn more and schedule your free consultation!