Sometimes it’s obvious you need to replace your windows. If a baseball comes flying through your front window and lands on your carpet, you know you’ll need to replace it sooner rather than later. Other times our windows can be broken or need repairs but because there are no obvious signs, we have no idea they need to be replaced. Read through these 5 signs to find out if it’s time to replace your windows.
1. Your Windows are Drafty
A drafty window doesn’t just mean you’ll feel the air come through. Drafty windows can also be the reason why your energy bills are increasing. As the temperature changes throughout the year, you should see your heating and cooling bills doing the same. If your windows are older, it’s likely that most of the heat from your furnace and the cool air from your air conditioner is going to waste.
An easy way you can test if your windows are drafty is to do the candle test. Hold a candle around the edges of your window. If you can see the flame flicker at certain points, it’s likely there’s a leak where the air is getting it. Drafts can be a result of insulation like weatherstripping wearing away or hardware problems.
If you find you have drafty windows, it’s important to have them replaced. Older windows are usually single-paned which makes them vulnerable to leaks. Newer windows are much more energy efficient and designed to prevent air transferring that causes drafts. Speak to a windows professional to find out the best options for energy efficient windows in your home.
2. Your Windows Don’t Open Easily
You shouldn’t break into a sweat trying to open your windows. If you find your windows aren’t opening as easily as they used to, it’s time to replace them. Wood frame windows can be particularly difficult due to the swelling and contracting of wood depending on weather conditions.
Walk around your home and take note of how easy or difficult it is to open your windows. If you find you have to apply pressure or have to try a couple of times to get the window to budge, these are signs it’s time to replace your windows.
3. Your Windows Look Worn
If your windows aren’t looking clean after a window cleaning, there might be more to it. There comes a time when your windows don’t look as good as they used to. Regular exposure to the elements and daily wear and tear can build up over the years. An easy to spot sign that it’s time to replace your windows is if you notice them leaking or decaying.
Decaying windows can lead to safety concerns. If your window frame is completely rotted through, pieces of the frame or even the window glass itself could fall off and seriously injure someone below. If you notice any amount of decay, this is a sign that your windows need to be replaced as soon as possible.
Leaking windows can also be a sign of bigger problems with your home. While you may be inclined to attempt to fix the leak or ignore it, you’re much better off repairing the cause of the leak and replacing the window. Keep in mind that moisture fuels mold growth, even if it’s a small amount of water. The longer you postpone having your windows replaced the bigger the problem will become and you could end up with a major issue on your hands. To ensure your windows are healthy and looking their best, opt to have a professional assess the situation.
4. Your Windows are Loud
If you can still hear cars honking and driving by when your windows are shut, you have a soundproofing issue. Single and double pane windows will always transfer some amount of sound vibrations into your home. If a number of your windows have soundproofing issues, this will add up and your home will be noisier than it should be.
Rattling or shaking windows that you can hear are also a sign that it’s time for them to be replaced. You should not be able to hear your windows every time a gust of wind goes by. If you’re concerned your windows are making too much noise, it’s best to have a professional come out and make the best recommendations as to what you can do to fix this.
5. Your Windows are Cloudy
Don’t panic if you notice some condensation on your windows once in a while. The issue here is if your windows are consistently foggy or have condensation build-up on them. If you notice condensation in between the panes of glass, this is a bad sign. This means that your windows’ seals are not working and that it is time to replace your windows before they start leaking and causing more problems.
Cloudy windows are also a sign that your windows are not energy efficient. Condensation occurs when there is air flowing freely from outside to inside. The only proper way to fix this is to replace your windows. Speak to a windows professional about the different kinds of energy efficient windows. They will be able to help find windows that work for the style and budget of your home.
Bonus: They’re Old
The average window is meant to last between 10 and 15 years before the seals between the panes wear out. If you’ve had your windows for at least 10 years, it’s time to replace them. If your windows that are even older than that, perhaps installed prior to 1970, this is an excellent reason to have them replaced. Single pane windows installed before 1970 are from a different time with outdated standards. Replace your outdated windows with new ones that will last longer and work better for your home.
Some manufacturers will include a small sticker or embossment on their windows. Typically there will be a string of numbers on the sticker that contains information like the make and model of your windows, the manufacturer, and the date the windows were made. This small sticker is usually found in the window jam or may be on the glass. The sticker can be hard to find (or may not exist at all) so inspect your windows carefully if you’re looking for it.
Before fully replacing, you might want to take a look at how much it costs to replace your windows. Some damage might just be a simple repair, but not all windows are that fortunate.
Below are the average costs of Window & Door services across different cities in Canada:
*Costs based on 19,440 verified Canadian homeowner reviews as of March 2022
If you have old windows it’s likely you’re experiencing a number of the issues above. Not only are single pane windows prone to leaks and drafts, but they can also be unsafe. Take the time to replace your windows now so that you don’t have to worry about any issues in the future.
Cover image courtesy of Eco Choice Windows.
Article Updated June 2022