Four Signs That Your Windows Need to Be Replaced


You may be more inclined to take a good, long look at your windows if you’ve just purchased a fixer-upper or you’ve spent a considerable amount of years in your current abode. These occasions are as good as any, but it’s important to prioritize periodic window inspections to make sure you’re not sitting on a routine home maintenance task until it becomes a major home-wide renovation.

As you weigh your need for a one-off or full-scale window replacement, keep in mind that, while there are many visual indicators that tip off a unit’s depreciation, it’s not exclusively an eye test. You’ll also have to consider surrounding factors, like your home’s history and thermal efficiency. To give you a better sense for the most noteworthy signs that your windows need replacing, here are a few things to consider:


Unit Age

Many windows have an average lifespan of 10 years, especially if they sport a conventional build—like a single or double-hung construction. Some higher quality windows can extend that time frame to 20 years, but if you want to be vigilant, assume any window over 10 years of age is pushing it. If one or more of your windows falls in this category, you should stronger consider replacing them.



If your window sash jams frequently or is a little too resistant when you operate it, it’s a good idea to inspect the unit’s frame or glass to see if either is warping. Window warping is a common maintenance concern that takes place over time, especially if you live in an area that is frequently subjected to extreme cold, heat or a large amount of annual precipitation. The window’s glass could expand beyond the confines of its frame, or the frame itself could be physical distorted due to moisture permeation and subsequent rot. This is a key telltale sign to watch for since unit warping can lead to increased home energy loss.


Energy Inefficiency

Does it seem like it takes more energy to heat or cool your home during the dead of winter or the dog days of summer? Is looking at your utility bills becoming a more anxiety-inducing to-do than it used to? Luckily, many remodelers are shifting towards more energy-efficient window lines to meet accelerated consumer demand for smarter, greener home fixtures and technology. If you’ve decided it’s time for a house-wide window replacement, make sure to ask your contractor if they offer Energy Star-rated windows. Before hitting the market, these windows are tested against a robust, region-specific rubric developed by the U.S. Department of Energy program to guarantee optimal thermal efficiency.



Are certain areas of your home colder than others during the winter? Older windows are prone to air leakages, which makes drafts another dead giveaway sign for homeowners as they inspect their units. As an alternative, consider installing windows that feature a spacer system and an inert gas fill. Argon and krypton are commonly employed because of their considerable density. Not only will these more contemporary windows protect your home against unwanted drafts; they’ll also block moisture permeation and resulting unit warping.

If you notice one or more of these issues, window replacement is likely in order. Don’t let your home’s unique architecture be a prohibitive factor, either; many window manufacturers offer custom shape windows to ensure that your unit not only fits within your property’s dimensions, but also accentuates your interior and exterior décor. No matter if you’re the consummate handyperson or you prefer the peace of mind that comes with the help of professional contractors, always be on the lookout for signs that your windows need to be replaced.

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