Old, inefficient windows can increase your heating and cooling bills, negatively affect the performance of your HVAC system and may have a detrimental effect on your personal comfort. There are many signs that your windows are not performing to modern standards, and recognizing those signs can help you know when it's time to get your windows replaced.
Your Windows Have Become Foggy Between Panes
Double paned windows are sealed to provide insulation and prevent the movement of air between the interior and exterior of the home. The appearance of fog between the panes is an indication that the seals around the panes of glass have failed. Once the seals have failed, the windows may become foggy when there's a significant temperature or humidity difference between the interior and exterior panes. The fog inside the windows is condensation--the same phenomenon that affects a glass of ice water on a hot summer day. Once a double paned window's seals have failed, resealing them is extremely difficult and in many homes, foggy windows stay foggy until they're replaced.
Condensation Forms on the Interior of the Pane In the Winter
Modern windows are expected to protect your home from the temperature extremes outside. The formation of condensation on your windows is a clear sign that this is failing to happen, which means that you're probably spending a lot of extra money to heat and cool your house during the winter and summer.
The Window Frame is Visibly Deteriorated
If your wooden window frames are cracked or rotted, this means that your windows aren't effectively sealed against outside temperatures and moisture conditions. This kind of rot occurs either because of condensation inside the window, or because rain and snow are leaking through the frame to the interior of your home. Either way, rotted window frames are a sign that your windows are failing to provide protection from the elements.
You Feel a Draft Near Windows During the Winter
As old homes settle, wooden or vinyl frames can become slightly warped, which prevents the window from fitting perfectly in its place. This can cause air to flow between the home's interior and exterior, causing a draft. If you can feel a breeze around your windows in the winter, this is a sign that your windows no longer fit well in their frames.
Depending on the window type, quality and maintenance received, your windows will last anywhere from 10 to 40 years before they need to be replaced. If your windows are more than a decade old and are showing these tell-tale signs of age, speak with a window contractor such as Fas Windows and Doors about getting your old windows replaced.