Do you know when to replace windows? There's a point when patchwork won't do. Here's a quick guide to identifying windows beyond repair.
Old windows are a big problem. The cold drafts swoop in during the winter and suck out the heat; the hot air swallows up the air conditioning in the summer. Depending on the climate where you live, these problems can make energy costs skyrocket. The question isn't where to patch up the drafts—it's when to replace windows and save long-term.
As a homeowner, how do you know when it's time to replace a window? It's not always easy to point out, but there are a few ways to identify the signs. The immediate costs of upkeep may seem like a big deal, but if your utilities are out of control due to bad insulation, you'll save big long-term by making the investment now. The same goes for replacing your roof, windows, or appliances.
When to replace windows for good: a simple guide to identifying areas beyond repair
If you're wondering if you should replace windows instead of repair them, here are a few things to consider.
1. Your energy bills are still very high after several window repairs
Everybody repairs their windows at some point. Maybe they need new caulking or they have broken seals. These are usually issues that only call for a simple repair, as with many household amenities. However, if your energy bills keep rising due to bad insulation, it's time to consider replacement. Think long-term.
2. Your house is drafty in winter and can't hold in cool air in summer
Do you see the shades wafting with the drafts on a windy day? Can you feel cold air coming through and mixing with your precious oil heating? That's a good indicator of a faulty window beyond repair.
Old windows, especially wood, will warp with exposure to the weather over the years. The corners, frames, and sashes will eventually loosen and let the air in. More caulking and weather stripping won't fix these problems or prevent them from getting worse.
3. The wood molding around the windows is rotting and falling apart
If you live in an older house with wood windows, eventually they'll rot. It's likely that the windows that need replacement are the ones that face the sun the longest. Weather exposure wears away the frame and window pane over time.
If you notice cracks and chips or loose, moldy wood, there isn't much chance to save it. That window is costing you money every day that you're running the furnace or air conditioner.
4. The windows don't work properly because of their condition
Do you have trouble opening and closing the windows? It could be a fixable problem, like needing to clean out the dust and dirt from the grooves. A few parts could be rusted and need to be replaced.
However, it can also signal bigger problems. Warped or cracked panes, swollen wood from mold build up, or a deteriorating frame are all issues that call for a new window. Patch jobs will only get you so far.
5. You're planning on putting your house up for sale soon
Selling a house with old, weather-beaten windows is tough. Real estate agents won't be able to persuade potential buyers into looking past a horrible draft. Buyers are actively looking for problems like this. They know the cost of replacing windows, and they'd much rather have you do it or talk down the selling price.
On the other hand, if you replace your windows before putting the house on the market, those fixes become features. New windows mean better insulation, lower energy costs, and a warm and cozy winter.
Even the most prepared homeowners face unforeseen costs when it comes to disasters, emergencies, and repairs. Upgrade your homeowners policy to include a variety of extras for just pennies a day.
Have you ever replaced the windows in your home? What helped you make the decision? Let us know in the comments.