When you’re a homeowner, you’re responsible for maintaining your residential structure. It’s easy to know when your refrigerator has stopped working or your AC unit goes out, but other home systems aren’t always as cut and dry.
Take your windows, for example. Do you know when and why you might need to replace your house’s windows?
Four Benefits of Replacing Your Windows
Windows are something many homeowners overlook and take for granted. But upgrading old, inefficient windows before they obviously require attention can yield both functional and aesthetic benefits for your house. Here are four major ones.
- Lower Energy Costs
Many older homes were built using single-pane glass for their windows. These might keep out the bugs, but that’s about it.
They often freeze open or shut, and will feel cold to the touch at night and in wintertime. Replacing inefficient windows with newer ones can substantially reduce energy costs.
According to some estimates, newer windows with features such as argon between the panes and heat-reflecting low-E coatings can save homeowners anywhere from 10 to 25 percent on heating and cooling costs every year.
- Increased Comfort
New windows don’t just curb high energy costs; they also eliminate those cold drafts that cut through your house on winter evenings. In other words, upgrading your windows can result in increased comfort. That’s a no-brainer!
- Better Curb Appeal
Windows are more than functional. They also have a significant impact on the appearance of your house, inside and out. Replacing dated windows with newer ones can dramatically enhance your home’s curb appeal.
New windows improve character and personality. They can complement the architecture of the structure and enable you to accentuate certain facets of your home. You can paint the frames in a way that produces a striking overall color scheme.
- Increased Safety
“Maintaining a secure and safe home is paramount for any and all homeowners seeking to improve their home safety,” Modernize.com explains. “While best security practices encompass an entire home, having a window replacement done with energy-efficient and secure home windows can play a pivotal and essential role, since they are by their nature more vulnerable than a wall.”
Newer windows often feature enhanced window locks, reinforced glass, stronger casements, and other details that prevent easy access or manipulation. And though a window will inevitably present a vulnerable point of entry, the right windows can pose a much greater challenge for a burglar to gain access to your home.
Do Your Windows Need to be Replaced?
So there are significant advantages to upgrading your windows … but is now the right time for your house? Here are some essential signs that a window replacement should be on your to-do list in the near future.
- Visible deterioration. “If your windows or windowsills show signs of wood rot, and if you don’t address it, it will get worse, creating an even larger home remodeling project—which can impact your time and money when it’s time to repair,” Kelly Window & Door explains. Start by looking for visible deterioration. You can even try gently pressing your fingers into parts of the wood frame and sills to feel for soft spots.
- Indoor drafts. The winter is the perfect time of year to check for drafts. Stand by your windows and run your hand across the pane and frame. Can you feel cold air seeping in? Could it be coming from the edges, the panes, or both? If it’s the panes, this could be a sign your windows are no longer providing the essential insulation to regulate airflow.
- High utility costs. How are your energy bills doing? If you’ve lived in your house for many years, consider reviewing past bills to obtain some perspective. If your energy bills are rising despite energy-efficient improvements throughout your home, this could be a sign your windows are letting air through.
- Outdoor noise. Older windows are notorious for being poor noise insulators. By contrast, new windows can block out significant levels of noise—even on busy streets. If your current windows allow you to hear everything that’s happening outside, an upgrade may be desirable.
If you notice one or more of the above symptoms or signs, think about calling a window replacement contractor. He or she will walk you through some of the different products on the market, as well as pricing, process, and other pertinent details.