Windows are a crucial part of every home. They provide you with plenty of natural light, fresh air, and protection from the outside elements. Although it’d be nice if windows lasted forever, they don’t. Eventually, they start to deteriorate and lose their efficiency. Since this is a gradual process, it’s not always noticeable at first. However, old windows may be costing you more money than you realize. From higher energy bills to increased maintenance costs, outdated windows can drain your wallet. The good news is that replacing your old windows with new, more energy efficient models can save you money and improve the comfort of your home. Here, we’ll explore how replacing your old windows can help you save money over time.
Signs You Need to Replace Your Windows
Before you start costing out replacement windows, consider whether you really need them. Window repairs can fix isolated damage, but if you notice any of the following signs, it’s probably time to look at scheduling a window replacement.
If you feel a noticeable draft near your windows, even when they’re closed, it may be a sign that the seals have failed, or the windows no longer fit properly in their frames. Although window seals can be repaired to a degree, large gaps or warping is better addressed with window replacements.
Most windows have multiple panes to maximize their efficiency. The space between these panes should be airtight for them to function their best. Therefore, if there is visible condensation accumulating between the panes of your window, it could be a sign that one or more of the seals have failed, allowing moisture to get trapped inside. If left unaddressed, condensation can lead to further damage and decreased energy efficiency.
Difficulty Opening and/or Closing
While your windows shouldn’t fly open or closed, they should be easy to maneuver without much effort. If you notice any of your windows starting to stick or become increasingly harder to open, it could be a sign that the frames are warped or damaged. This can also make it difficult for the seals to function, which can increase drafts and decrease efficiency.
Increased Energy Bills
One of the most telltale signs that it’s time for a window replacement is increasing energy bills. Although there are several factors that could cause your bills to spike, gradual increases over time may be a sign that your windows are allowing too much hot or cold air to escape. This, in turn, makes your HVAC system work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature, thus increasing energy consumption and cost.
Finally, if you see any signs of visible damage—cracks, rot, or chipping paint—on your windows, it’s probably time to replace them. Although some damage may be surface level, untreated issues can cultivate further problems like water damage or even pest problems. Getting an inspection will provide you with further information regarding whether they can be salvaged or need to be replaced.
What to Know About Energy-Efficient Windows
Once you decide to replace your windows, it’s important to consider the different types available. Energy-efficient windows are designed to reduce the amount of energy lost, thus decreasing bills while increasing comfort. These windows are typically made with advanced materials and multiple panes of glass, as this helps improve insulation and reduce heat transfer.
One of the most common types of energy-efficient windows is double-paned or triple-paned windows. These are made with two or three panes of glass separated by an insulating gas, such as argon or krypton. This design helps to reduce the amount of heat that can escape through the window, making them more energy efficient than single-paned windows.
Energy-efficient windows may also have low-emissivity (low-E) coatings, which are thin layers of metal or metallic oxide that are applied to the glass. These coatings help to reflect heat and UV rays away from the window, reducing the amount of solar heat gain in your home during the summer and reducing heat loss during the winter.
Additionally, energy-efficient windows may be designed with insulated frames and sashes, which help to reduce the amount of heat that can escape through the window frame. These frames may be made from materials such as vinyl, fiberglass, or wood with an insulating core. The amount of money you can save on energy bills tends to be dependent on these features, so it’s important to discuss your needs with your window installation expert.
Will Replacing Old Windows Really Save You Money?
All things considered, replacing old windows will save you money in the long run. However, window replacements can have a high upfront cost, making many homeowners hesitant to move forward with the installation. It’s important to consider the type of windows you want, the number of windows on your home, and the degree of energy efficiency you’re willing to pay for. Some models can reduce energy expenses by up to 50%, while others may have a smaller impact on your bills. The best way to determine your savings is to discuss your unique needs with a professional window installation company and weigh your options with your budget. However, even small upgrades will help keep your home’s internal temperature stable, which lowers bills and reduces the excess strain on your HVAC system. Over time, this can also result in less money spent on HVAC maintenance and repairs.
In addition to energy savings, replacing your old windows can also improve the overall value of your home. Energy-efficient windows are an attractive feature for potential buyers, which is something to consider if you plan to move in the upcoming years.
One way to maximize your long-term savings is to consider applying for a federal tax credit to help with your window replacement. The tax credit may reimburse up to $500 of the costs, as long as you meet the criteria, and your replacements are Energy Star-qualified. You can read more about federal energy incentives here.
Other Benefits of Replacing Your Old Windows
Although saving money is usually the biggest motivator for homeowners to replace their windows, there are several other benefits that can help make the decision easier. Some of the most notable include the following:
New windows offer improved insulation, which can help regulate the temperature in your home. Yes, this saves money, but it also makes your interior more comfortable throughout the year. Most notably, you’ll no longer have hot or cold spots in a room caused by old, drafty windows.
If you live in a noisy area, replacing your windows with double- or triple-paned models can help to reduce the amount of noise that enters your home. This will help create a more peaceful and relaxing environment that you can enjoy with friends or family.
Old windows with visible signs of damage and deterioration can be easy targets for burglars or intruders. By replacing them with new, stronger windows, you can improve the security of your home and make it more difficult for someone to break in.
New windows are often designed with easy maintenance in mind. Many of them have features such as tilt-in sashes that make cleaning the windows much easier than older models. Although we recommend caring for your windows regardless of their age, it tends to be easier with new windows.
When to Schedule Window Replacements
As soon as you notice any signs that could indicate you need window replacements, it’s best to call a professional for an inspection. Depending on the time of year and degree of damage, your window expert may recommend a repair or replacement. However, if this happens during winter, you may wonder whether it’s worth it to wait until spring or get started right away. During your inspection, you can discuss your options and get tailored advice from the experts.
With that being said, the best time to replace your windows is usually during spring or fall. Optimal conditions are when the temperature is mild and there’s minimal rainfall, as this helps ensure humidity levels are low and the wood doesn’t warp during installation.
If you notice signs that your windows need replacing, make sure you work with an experienced window installation company, like First Star Exteriors. Our team of experts will replace, repair, or install your windows, depending on your needs. With competitive rates and full transparency, we can help you find something that works best for your home. With over 10 years of experience, First Star Exteriors is here to help you with all your roofing, siding, window, and door needs. We offer fast turnarounds for quotes and services to make sure your needs are addressed promptly. Contact us today to receive a free quote within 48 hours!