How to Know When You Need to Replace Your Windows
How do you know whether it is time to replace or repair your old windows? There are a few things you should consider when deciding to save or throw away your windows, such as your options, the cost of each, and how effective any repairs will be.
Should You Repair or Replace?
New windows have a variety of features and benefits that may make them an attractive choice, such as low maintenance, smooth operation, easier cleaning, fewer drafts, and some energy savings. But they are more expensive and to have a professional install them can almost double the cost. So it is best to evaluate the maintenance and repair options you have for your old windows before you decide to buy new. You can do this by asking yourself these three questions.
1. Are your old windows difficult to deal with?
Are you getting tired of just trying to get your windows to last another year, or are you fine with the job of maintaining them? Take these things into consideration:
- Easy to operate. Can your windows be lifted, slid, or swung open easily or do you stop and consider how much you want to work to get some ventilation moving through your home?
- Ease of cleaning. Is the task of cleaning so difficult that you put it off for as long as possible? Many of the new windows on the market have been designed to make cleaning simple.
- Scraping and painting. Windows that are painted need to be maintained on a regular basis. If they are not, there is a good chance that they will begin to rot and fall apart. New windows that are made of vinyl or aluminum eliminate this task.
- Storm windows. Are you tired of storm windows that need to be put up and taken down as well as being cleaned and maintained? Is it time for your storm windows to be replaced?
- Annoying condensation. Are you consistently dealing with condensation building up on your windows, making them difficult to see out of and soaking into the frame? New windows are often made with high efficiency glass that helps to reduce this issue.
2. Do your old windows keep your home comfortable?
Windows that have a single pane often make rooms feel a bit chilly during cold weather and warm during hot, sunny weather. New windows with double panes will help to insulate better in the cold months keeping the cold weather out and helps to reduce the amount of warmth that is felt from the sun and heat outside while still letting in some sunlight. New windows that are energy efficient will also help to save a little on your fuel bill, but is not enough to offset the cost of new windows.
3. Is it worth repairing your old windows?
There is almost always a way to repair your old windows if you want to take the time to do it. But it comes to a point where it just is not worth the time, effort and money. Some of the more major problems include:
- Replacement hardware that is hard-to-find. When windows get so old, it can be difficult to get the replacement hardware pieces you need. You may be able to get the hardware from the original manufacturer or from an online supplier, but there are times that installing new is the only option.
- Rotting wood. If you have wood windows and have found that they are beginning to rot you may want to consider replacements. Once rotting begins, there is no way to stop it. If you are willing to take on the difficult job of replacing the rotting wood, then you could just repair.
- Double pane windows that have fogged up. If fogging occurs between two panes of glass, there is no way to repair it. Replacing the glass is the only way to save the window. Compare the cost of replacing the glass to replacing the entire window.
- Casement or crank-out windows that are sagging. If the crank of the window needs to be replaced, it is an easy fix, but if the hinges are bent or worn out, this is a more difficult fix. Even if replaced, it may not solve the problem. Consider purchasing new windows.