Do you need to replace your home windows? Here’s how to know

May 16, 2023
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You probably don’t think much about your windows much unless the neighbor’s kid throws a baseball through the glass. But a broken pane isn’t the only reason why people replace their windows and there are a lot of reasons why you may want to consider doing so. 

Replacing your windows can be necessary even if the pane itself seems intact. Many small issues are not always clearly visible which can cause problems. Some of the main reasons why windows are replaced are:

  1. Difficult to Open
  2. Excessive Moisture
  3. Poor Energy Efficiency
  4. Outdoor Noise
  5. Storm Protection

The issues are often reasons why people replace their windows because they can be symptoms of other issues, but sometimes they can also help in achieving specific goals rather than fixing a defect. 

Difficult to Open

Windows that are difficult to open can be a symptom of many different issues. Jamming, sticking, and warping can result from window issues like rust, rotting, or mold. Sometimes, excessive warping can also be a signal that there are termites in the vicinity. Wood windows are often the most commonly affected by this issue of opening. 

Sometimes, the issue is also caused by the aging of the window seals. As cheaper economy windows age, their insulated glass loses its seal. This can happen quickly even with windows with ‘lifetime warranties’ and can cause the windows to be difficult to open. The best remedy to this situation is to get your windows replaced because they generally cannot be repaired.

Excessive Moisture

excessive moisture

Moisture accumulating on the inside of the window can be another sign that they are starting to fail. The moisture issues can also show in various other ways, including fogging between the panes or condensation on the interior of your home. Condensation occurs most often during the colder months as temperatures outside drop but there is excess moisture inside your home. Mold inside the window and moisture pooling on your window sill can also be signs of cracking seals. These seals often experience cracking issues with vinyl windows as the frame expands and contacts when temperatures fluctuate between hot and cold. This repeating cycle can put stress on the frame. 

This issue does not have to mean an automatic window replacement, as there are a few solutions you can try first. Increasing airflow is important in preventing excess moisture, so make sure you have a moisture barrier in the crawl space under your home. Check your ventilation system and use a dehumidifier when necessary. Ventilation while doing laundry, cooking, and showering can do a great job of removing extra water in the air. You can also make sure to allow for air circulation near your windows by raising the blinds. If none of these reduce the moisture around your windows, you may want to consider a replacement. 

Poor Energy Efficiency

Poor energy efficiency can also be a result of improper window installation. If an energy audit shows issues or you are experiencing uncomfortable drafts, you may want to check the frame. Drafts can occur because of improper sealing and can put an extra load on your HVAC system, which results in higher costs. However, sometimes your windows can be inefficient simply because of the materials used. 

Single-pane windows, for example, allow for a significant degree of thermal transfer from one side to another. Sometimes, they even allow for miniature cracks and leaks that allow cold air in. Dual or triple-pane glass is a good choice for maximizing energy costs. Upgrading from a single glass pane, even if it is not broken, can help you reduce energy costs while still keeping your home comfortable. Similarly, they can help reduce the amount of UV light entering your home, which can damage furniture and flooring over time. Low-emissivity or Low-E glass coatings are specially designed to protect from UV light. However, these cannot be added after installation, so they would require a new installation. 

Outdoor Noise

Living near a busy area can be extremely frustrating for homeowners as they have to deal with increased noise levels, but there are ways to reduce it to help you sleep better at night. If too much outside noise is entering your home, consider replacing your windows to reduce transmission and improve sound performance. Windows are not fully soundproof, but several types can dramatically reduce noise levels. 

The most popular are those with more panes of varying glass thickness, which help dampen several different frequencies to reduce overall noise. Airtight installation and insulating frames can also play a big role in ensuring peace and quiet. If this is an issue for your, replacing your existing windows can help solve it. 

Storm Protection

storm protection

If you live in an area with severe weather, it is also highly recommended that you install extra-strength windows for your own protection. Storms can pick up debris and fling it at high speeds. The speed is such that even relatively small rocks are thrown about with enough force to seriously compromise structural integrity or even shatter basic windows. This is especially true for hurricanes, but anyone in a storm-prone area should do so as a safety precaution. Impact windows are especially popular on some stormy areas of the coast. 

Many glass professionals that work on home glass also work on auto glass. If you are an auto glass technician, the Elmo Anywhere software is an all-in-one tool that can help glass shops stay efficient and organized. Check out a full-price breakdown of the Elmo Anywhere software for more details.