How to Know When Your Home’s Windows Need to Be Replaced
Making sure your windows are in good shape is an important part of maintaining your home. Good-looking windows enhance curb appeal, and properly fitted and sealed windows are absolutely necessary to maintaining comfort without paying huge heating and cooling bills.
Don’t hesitate to replace bad windows. Repairing old windows is almost always less desirable than installing new Energy Star qualified windows.
Here are some signs that it’s past time to consider upgrading.
You can’t open or close them
Any window that doesn’t operate properly needs to be replaced right away. Struggling to open or close a window is more than a hassle; it’s an injury risk. A stuck window is also a safety hazard. Burglars can enter through a window that won’t lock, and a permanently shut window will block escape during an emergency. In addition to just working, newer windows tend to be lighter, making them easier for all members of the family to operate.
If your heating or cooling costs rise noticeably, one or more of your windows is probably leaking. Warm or cool air escaping through a cracked or ill-fitted window increases your environmental footprint by requiring your HVAC system to work harder and consume more energy. Also, as the system strains to keep up, it incurs unnecessary wear and tear. Bad windows lead to your furnace or air conditioner needing repairs and replacement before its estimated useful life.
You feel a draft
If you feel a draft, a window has separated from its frame. The easiest way to check which windows are letting in outside air is to close every window and door, shut off your central air or heat, switch off every fan and run a lit candle or incense stick around every window. A flickering flame or wafting incense smoke indicates a draft.
Rotting and decaying wooden window frames ruin the look of your home and create safety problems. Check for internal rot by pushing in on the wood with the blade of a flat screwdriver. If the screwdriver enters the wood easily, you’ve got a weakened frame.