Your windows should do more than let natural light into your home and provide you with a view outdoors. They should also keep warm air in during the winter and cool air in during the summer. If that's not the case, and they're actually letting air escape — in turn, running up your electric bill — it may be time to replace your windows. But what are some other signs it's time to replace them? Here are five ways to tell if you need to replace your windows.
Your Energy Bills Keep Going Up
A consistent increase in your electric bill is one of the easiest ways to tell that your windows need to be replaced. Old windows tend to allow heat and cool air to escape, which means your furnace and air conditioner are working harder than they should be. This wreaks havoc on your energy bill and can decrease the lifespan of heating and cooling units.
It's easy to check to see if your windows are leaking air. In some cases, you may be able to stand near the window and feel a draft. If you don’t feel a draft, you can also test your windows using a candle or incense stick. Hold it near the window and move it around the frame. Watch to see if the candle flame or incense smoke is drawn to the window. If it is, then you have a leak.
Newer windows are designed to prevent heat from escaping in the winter and keep it out during the summer, but you should still check them to make sure, since they may not have been installed or sealed properly.
Your Windows Are Difficult to Open and CloseIf you're having trouble even opening and closing your windows, it's time to replace them. They should slide smoothly along their track and open easily. If they were painted shut or the frame is wood, it's time to replace them. Wood frames will absorb humidity causing them to swell and making them hard to open.
Your Window Frames Are Falling Apart
If you've tried to avoid the need for replacing windows, you may have ignored the telltale signs — like water stains or chipped glass — that they're falling apart. When the window frame looks warped or is showing signs of decay, it's time to replace them.
If you let the decay continue, you'll eventually have a bigger problem than just leaking air. Water could start to leak in when it rains, leaving a puddle on your floor and causing the frame to warp even more. This can allow mold to grow in the frame and eventually creep into your home. It's best to replace your windows sooner at the first signs of decay, rather than letting them cause further issues in your home.
Your Furniture is FadingIf your navy blue couch is starting to fade to more of a royal blue, your windows need to be replaced. Older windows, especially single-paned ones, don't block UV light the way newer windows do. In fact, new low emissivity glass (also called low E) has a special coating that reflects UV light, keeping it out of your home.
You Can Hear More Outdoor Sounds
Replacing windows in your home can help quiet things down. Windows aren't just for looking through, they also block out sound from traffic and other noise. If you stand next to a window and can easily hear the traffic outside your home, it might be time to get new windows.
Those double-paned windows we mentioned not only block UV sunlight but sound waves as well, keeping your home quiet and allowing you to hear your favorite TV show.
If you're in the market for new windows, stop by either of our two ReStore locations. We have new and gently used sets of windows at affordable prices.