Did you know that windows account for 25% to 30% of the heating and cooling energy you use at home?
What’s even more shocking, however, is that they don’t “use” this energy — instead, they let it go to waste. That’s because of all parts of your home, windows allow for the most heat gains and losses.
You could be wasting even more heating and cooling energy if you have really old house windows. It’s a good idea to have these assessed and repaired, or better yet, replaced.
The question now is, how exactly do you tell that you have old and outdated windows? Why would you even consider swapping them with new ones?
We’ll answer all these questions below, so be sure to read on to learn how to tell when to replace windows!
1. You Still Have Single Glazed Windows
The latest study revealed that 48.5 million homes in the US still make use of single-glazed windows. These are windows that use a single pane of glass. They’re still common in older homes, considering that they account for 50% of all windows sold in the 1980s.
Unfortunately, these old windows allow the most energy to pass through them. Meaning, more of your heating and cooling energy go to waste with these windows. So, they might still look fine, but they’re contributing to your home’s high energy usage.
If you still have these single-paned windows, consider replacing them with double-glazed ones. Triple-glazed windows are also available, and while the cost varies, these do cost more. What’s important is to go for Energy-Star rated windows, which can lower energy bills by an average of 12%.
2. Skyrocketing Energy Bills
In the summer, bare windows allow cooled air to leave your home. At the same time, they make it easy for the heat of the outside air to permeate your home. In the winter, they do the exact opposite.
If you have old (such as the single-glazed ones) or damaged windows, they can be wasting much more energy. Damages, such as drafts or cracks, can bleed out even more of your conditioned air.
That said, compare your electricity bill with your state’s average. To give you an idea, the national average back in 2018 was $117.65, although it varies greatly from state to state. Hawaii residents, for instance, paid an average of $168, while Utahns paid only $77 a month.
Either way, if your electricity bill is way more than the average, chances are, your old windows are also to blame. It’s time to consider replacing your old windows in this case.
3. You Have to Turn the Heater or AC On Full Blast
During summer, when you’re at home, it’s best to keep your AC thermostat set at 78 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter, you can dial down the indoor temperature setting to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, you can still make slight adjustments to ensure that you remain comfy.
If, however, you have to set either appliance to full blast, there might be something wrong with your heater or AC. Or, it could also be due to your outdated or drafty windows. If you’re keeping your HVAC unit in tip-top condition, your windows are likely to blame.
It’s possible that your windows already have failed seals, which is why they let drafts in. Conditioned air from your home can also exit through the gaps left by these faulty seals.
In any case, this is a good time to consider getting window replacements. Especially if your current ones are 10 years or older, or if they still make use of single panes.
4. Some Areas of the Windows Have Warped
Warping on windows is a sign of old age, and they could make the frames bend or go out of shape. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may be unable to fully close your windows. Warping is also a leading cause of drafts.
If you have badly warped windows, consider getting them replaced soon.
5. You Can See Rotting and Decay on the Frames
You should have your windows replaced ASAP if you see decaying sections in their frames. Rotting wood often indicates compromised window structural integrity. The longer you leave that decay untreated, the bigger the area that will rot away.
Moreover, decaying wood can also trigger (or signal) termite infestation. Termites are a huge threat, with two species alone causing the world $40 billion in damages. That should be enough reason for you to get rid of decaying windows at home.
6. Molds Between the Panes
If you see dark streaks or dirt on the windows, try wiping them away. If they don’t disappear, then what you likely have are molds trapped between the glass panes. In this case, you’ve got moisture issues, which means that your frames likely have water damage.
Molds inside panes also indicate failed window seals. Excess moisture can enter the space between the panes via these faulty seals.
You might think that moldy window panes are more of a cosmetic concern. However, you still get them checked at least, seeing as the molds signal moisture problems.
7. Your Windows Make a Lot of Noise
Do your windows rattle whenever a car comes up the driveway? Perhaps you hear them making noise whenever the wind blows. In any case, these are signs that your windows are old enough that they already warrant a replacement.
These sounds usually mean that the glass panes no longer snugly fit inside their frames. This can be due to warping, failed seals, or other loose components. If severe warping is the culprit, your best bet would be to invest in window replacements.
Spruce up Your Home by Swapping out Those Old House Windows
There you have it, your ultimate guide on how to tell when to replace old house windows. If your windows exhibit any of these signs, then be sure to get a window expert to inspect them ASAP. Depending on the extent of the problem, they may be able to fix some of your windows.
If they’re not only old but also damaged, the better option would be to replace them though. This way, you can improve not only your home’s energy efficiency but its overall beauty too.
Are you looking for more hacks to boost your home’s comfort, style, and livability? Then don’t forget to check out the other posts under this site’s Lifestyle section!