If you happen to face a dilemma of whether or not your old windows need to be replaced, just take a look a several criteria described below and hopefully this will help you evaluate the situation and make that right decision.
To begin with, try to determine how easy or complicated the maintenance of your current windows is. Is it a routine chore which you don’t mind or is it really a hassle? Do you often see the paint peeling on the exterior? If so, it may be caused by moisture influence due to seal failure, or perhaps, frame expansion because of temperature fluctuations and UV ray influence.
If your home is older than 40 years then most likely your windows were well made from quality wood which is resistant to moisture and rotting. Younger houses would most likely have poor quality windows and their frames would be rapidly decaying and require a replacement. You can test the condition of your frame by poking it with a screwdriver and if your see its tip going easily into the wood, it means the wood is too soft and began to rot, and once rotting begins it is hard to stop, for that reason you should definitely consider a full frame replacement.
2. Thermal efficiency and insulation
If your windows still have single-pane glass, then they do not have energy efficiency and as a result your room may often stay cold in winter and overheated in summer. Such windows can also have frost build up on the inside of the glass thus creating a risk of glass breakage. Consider replacing them with energy efficient Low E and Argon glazed windows.
It is a good idea to check if drafts are coming through the window – just bring a lit up candle close to the sash to see if the light flickers and if it does that means your window is air leaking. Replacing drafty windows will reduce a cold air flow into your room therefore moisture from the warm room air will not come in contact with a cold draft from the window and a chance of condensation will be minimized.
However, if the condensation happens between the panes of the glass unit, it is an indicator of a broken seal and the only solution is a glass unit or a whole window replacement.
Proper window insulation is also important for reduction of exterior noise. If you upgrade your single pane windows to double glazing it can solve the problem, or if you live in an extremely noisy area, then you may need triple pane or laminated glass windows.
3. Window operation
How easy is the operation of your windows? Is it a breeze or a struggle? Is everyone in your family able to slide, crank or lift the windows when they want to enjoy fresh air or is opening the windows an annoying challenge? If operating mechanisms or hinges of your windows are bent or worn out, sashes are sagging and won’t stay open without a prop or are tough to shut, then it is time to replace such windows.
Is cleaning of your windows giving you a smile or a headache? Would you rather avoid it because you don’t feel comfortable using a ladder to reach the upper floor windows? Well, most modern windows have a special tilt-in function which allows cleaning right from the inside of your room and makes the process very easy. You can add on a self-cleaning glass option and your time and efforts will be much saved.
Beautiful, well made and properly installed windows increase the curb appeal of your home as well as its value. This may be a sufficient reason to get rid of the old worn out windows. There are tons of design opportunities in today’s market which will help you achieve a perfect blending of the new windows with both the interior and exterior of your home and make the replacement a smart and effective investment.