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Is it time for new windows?

How to know when you need new windows.Home: Where your wifi connects automatically and sweatpants are always acceptable.

Your house is a pretty special place, and being a homeowner has major perks. But don’t forget that being a homeowner also means you have added responsibilities and maintenance obligations.

That includes your windows.

Like many items inside and outside of the home, windows need to be cleaned, repaired, and eventually replaced. But how do you know it’s time to completely replace your windows?

Beyond the aesthetics of beautifying your home with brand new windows, there are many reasons you may need new windows. From passing a home inspection to keeping your home comfortable in the winter and summer months, here are five reasons it might be time to replace your windows.

Five Reasons You May Need New Windows 

1. Your windows are drafty

Do I need new windows?

Ever put your hand next to a window frame in the winter and feel a cold breeze coming through? Many people think this is to be expected during the cold months, but it is not true. A properly functioning, quality window should significantly reduce the amount of cold air entering the home.

Drafty windows waste energy and increase your energy bills.  This air leakage, known as air infiltration (AL), greatly affects your home’s energy efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating your home is the largest energy expense for the average American home, accounting for nearly 45% of the energy bill. Think about how much harder your furnace has to work to keep the room comfortable. The same concept applies to air conditioning, as cold air leaks out while warm air sneaks in through your windows

New windows have the potential to save you money and keep your house comfortable.

Look for windows that qualify for ENERGY STAR® certification, a program established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Windows are tested, certified and labeled based on their energy performance rating. The ratings take many factors into consideration, including air leakage.

Replacing your existing windows with ENERGY STAR certified windows saves you money.

Average savings for a typical home:  

  • $126–$465 a year over single-pane windows
  • $27–$111 a year when replacing double-pane, clear glass replacement windows

“Older windows didn’t have the technology we have nowadays to create the angles to block out wind and draft”, says Matthew Mack, sales manager at Long Windows. “Now we have materials that act as shields.”

2. The windows appear “foggy” with condensation

Window condensation.

Foggy clouds or water streaks you see inside the window pane is condensation. This happens when warm, moist air meets a cool surface.

Condensation makes your windows look dirty and can cause damage.  

No amount of cleaning can get rid of the ugly stains inside the window panes caused by heavy condensation. If the condensation is persistent, the moisture can create mold and cause damage to interior walls.

Condensation-resistant windows

In addition to air leakage, ENERGY STAR windows meet qualifications for condensation resistance factor (CRF) and condensation resistance ratings. The closer the interior glass temperature is to the interior room temperature, the less likely it is to produce condensation. Windows with new technologies such as low-E glazing, insulating spacers, and argon gas fill resist absorbing the cold outside temperatures.

Read: Air infiltration, condensation, your home and your windows

3. The frames are damaged, rotted or look worn 

Damaged window frame.

When we think windows, we think glass. It’s easy to overlook or miss a worn out or damaged window frame until it’s brought to your attention. A home inspection or room renovation can reveal dingy looking, cracked or warped window frames. And that may be a sign that you need new windows.

Damaged Frames can affect the energy efficiency and function.

Even if your window panes are in great condition, a damaged frame can reduce the energy efficiency.

“A warped frame will likely lead to air leakage as well,” say Mack.

Damaged window panes, whether cracked, warped or rotted, can affect the functionality. A damaged frame may inhibit the window from opening, closing or locking properly.

4. Safety Issues

Window safety issues.

Not only does a malfunctioning window reduce its energy efficiency, it can also become a safety issue. When your windows are malfunctioning to the point that they become a fire hazard and/or safety concern, you should definitely consider a window replacement.

“Windows not opening is a big deal. People don’t think about it until it’s too late,” says Mack. “If you have a fire or emergency in your home, you need to get out. You want to have movable sashes and removable screens. You can’t be wrestling with the window. It needs to be done in a matter of seconds.”

Similarly, if a window does not shut properly, it can be dangerous. A window that slams down after opening can easily cause harm to a child or adult.

5. Security Issues

The FBI estimates that a burglary occurs about every eighteen seconds in the United States. And nearly 75% of these burglaries occur at residential properties. Additionally, according to Safewise, nearly 30% of burglars gain access through an unlocked door or window, especially first floor windows.

Check the locks

Many homeowners simply forget to lock their windows, especially in the warmer summer months. Inoperable or jammed locks may also be to blame if a window is left unlocked.

Brand new windows will have sturdy, strong locks that that make it more difficult for a burglar to break in.

“We have Quantum Stealth locks, which are patented through our manufacturer,” says Mack. “They can withstand about twice as much pressure as your average home windows.”

Read: Windows and Home Security: How to Make Your Home Safer

Window Construction

Homeowners who are concerned with security issues can choose certain styles that have added security features. Modern casement windows, for example, have two locking arms and use a crank operator to open the pane. Other options include double-hung windows constructed with safety features that make them more difficult to pry open from the outside.

A high-quality window system will have exceptional frame strength with a welded frame that is virtually burglar and pry-proof.

As Angie’s List advises, “windows are only as good as their installation.” When you think you may need new windows, make sure you research your window options and search for the best installer.

Is it time to replace your windows?

If your windows are drafty, foggy, damaged or don’t function properly anymore, consider new replacement windows that are energy efficient, secure and beautiful. Contact Long Windows for a free assessment at (800) 417-5664 or visit us online.