Replacing Your Windows: Is It Worth It?

There are many benefits to replacing your old windows from updating the look of your home to saving money through increased energy efficiency.  So, why do most homeowners keep putting this essential task at the bottom of the “to-do” list?

Replacing windows is a big deal that most homeowners put off because of the cost and inconvenience associated with having new windows installed in the home.  But, keeping your old windows contributes to a cost and inconvenience factor, too.  Although not as readily noticeable, old windows which are past their prime are a drain on your home’s energy efficiency and ultimately, your pocket book.

So, how do you know when it’s time to upgrade your windows?  Well, here’s a few signs that mean your windows aren’t doing their job as well as they used to be.

replacing windows: is it worth it

Your windows shake, rattle and roll

If the wind blows and your windows are rattling around in the frame, it’s a sure sign that either the seal or the frame has started to deteriorate.  This is especially common in older homes where window frames are most often made of wood.

In this case, your energy bills are going up and it isn’t because of some insane increase in the price of natural gas. Windows that are loose in their frame are no longer efficient at keeping drafts out and cool or warm air in.

You hear street sounds a little too clearly

Great windows won’t keep every single noise from getting into your home but, they can sure help.  You see, newer windows are designed so that they not only help insulate against heat or cold but, against noise as well.

If you can hear what’s going on outside down to the smallest detail, like people’s conversations, it’s time to think about replacing older windows new ones that have double or triple pane glass.  Most older windows are made with single pane glass which doesn’t provide much of a barrier to the outside world.  That means that you’ll hear everything that goes on outside and your home isn’t scoring high in energy efficiency either.

Condensation is forming between the window panes

Maybe you consider your windows to be up to snuff.  After all, you’ve got double or triple pane windows that seem to be functioning properly, aren’t drafty and don’t let in too much noise.  But, have you ever noticed a film of condensation in between the panes?

If you have, that’s a sign of air leakage due to a broken seal on your window panes.  The way modern windows are built is that they have two or three panes with a layer of air in between for insulation.  When that seal deteriorates or breaks, moisture can get in between the panes and form condensation.

When this happens you can either choose to repair your window, which might involve installing new glass or, replace the window all together.  Either way, this is an issue that homeowners shouldn’t ignore.

You can’t get them open (or shut)

If opening and closing your windows is a test of strength and patience, they may be beyond repair.  Usually, windows that are difficult to operate are so because the frame is rotting or corroded.  Another reason may be that the mechanisms used to operate the window have given way and broken down.

Is replacing windows worth it?

The biggest question that any homeowner has about their windows is “will it be more cost effective to replace or repair?”

For many, the solution really does come down to price so, let’s take a look at the pro’s and con’s of each so that you can make the most informed decision.

Repairing old windows can cut down on the upfront costs that are associated with installing brand new windows.  But, installing brand new windows means that you’ll be cutting down on energy waste and noise for a long time to come.  Not to mention that new windows pay for themselves over time, meaning that they are an investment made up front for the homeowner that results in energy and money saved over the years.

It also may depend on what your goals for your home are.  For instance, if you plan on selling your home soon, opting to repair a few faulty windows might be the best option in order to make it more inviting for potential buyers.

However, if you intend to stay in your current home for a number of years then, purchasing new windows is a choice that you’ll be glad you made each day that you get to enjoy the view from them.   Not to mention the savings you’ll experience in other home costs such as heating, air conditioning and even lighting.