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10 Signs You Need to Replace Your Windows

Written by Cameron Bates

Published on September 13, 2023


10 Signs You Need to Replace Your Windows

Here are the signs you need to look out for to determine if it's time to replace your windows and improve your home's energy efficiency.

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Your windows perform several essential functions for your home, such as making it more energy efficient, improving comfort levels, and allowing for natural lighting and ventilation. But, if your windows are faulty or damaged, their ability to perform one or all of these functions will likely be hindered.

However, not all window faults or damages are as easy to spot as a broken pane or cracked window frame. So, to maintain your windows and ensure they are performing effectively, every homeowner needs to know what they’re looking for.

To help you understand what window problems you should look out for and what will warrant a window replacement, we’ve compiled 10 of the most common signs that your windows need replacing.

Let’s jump in.

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10 signs that you need new windows

1. Your windows are visibly damaged

This one is straightforward and obvious, but any visible damage to your window frame or pane is a good sign that you need a window replacement. Some of the most common damages to a window are a cracked or broken window pane or a chipped or warped window frame.

If your windows are noticeably damaged, they should be replaced immediately. Broken or severely damaged windows can negatively impact your home in several ways, including its heating, cooling, and sound control abilities. Mold and mildew may also become issues over time.

Depending on the severity of the damage to your window, it could be a security hazard, making your home a target for intruders.

2. Your home is louder than usual

If it is tough to find a quiet place in your home and it sounds like someone is running their lawn mower in your living room, don’t be too quick to blame your neighbor. It could be your window's fault.

Your windows do a lot in the form of sound control and protecting your home from outside noises. However, old windows, which often use single-pane glass, will perform far worse at soundproofing your home than new double or triple-pane windows.

So, if you’re constantly being disrupted in your home by outside noises, it might be worth your time to have your windows inspected and find out if you need replacements.

3. There’s condensation on your windows

If you notice condensation building up on your windows, it could cause concern. This may mean that your windows are leaking cold air into your home. This shouldn’t be confused with condensation on the outside of your window, which means your window is properly insulating your home.

An air leak or gap in your window that is leading to persistent indoor window condensation can lead to the growth of mold or mildew, water damage, or even a draft in your home, which will decrease the efficiency of your HVAC system.

If there is condensation on the inside of your window, it could be a sign that your windows, at a minimum, require inspecting and possibly need to be replaced.

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4. Unexplained jump in your electric bills

There could be several reasons why your electric bills have been increasing, but one contributing factor that many homeowners overlook is their windows.

Faulty or inefficient windows have substandard insulation capabilities, forcing your HVAC system to work twice as hard to regulate the temperature in your home. As a result, you are left with increasing energy costs and an overworked HVAC system.

According to ENERGY STAR, installing certified energy-efficient windows can cut your energy bills by an average of 12% compared to non-certified products. So, replacing your old windows with energy-efficient double or triple-pane windows will help keep the air you pay for in your home and provide energy savings in the process.

5. Your home is suddenly drafty

You may have drafty windows for several reasons, from an aging window frame to improper installation. But, while you may see a draft as just a minor inconvenience, it can have quite a few negative impacts on you and your home.

In the summer, a drafty window will let the cool air out and the hot air in, and do the opposite in the winter. This will not only affect the comfort level of your home but also cause your HVAC system to work twice as hard to reach the desired temperature.

A drafty window can signify that the window needs some minor repairs. However, it can also mean that your windows are old, inefficient, and need a replacement.

6. You're having difficulty opening and closing windows

If you are having constant issues with opening or closing your windows, and no cleaning or window treatment seems to help, it could be time to replace them.

Not being able to open or close your window can be a real problem for the safety and security of yourself and your home. In the case of a fire, a locked window may prevent your only exit. Additionally, it could create an easy entry for intruders.

There are several reasons why your windows may be stuck in place or having difficulty opening and closing. The window springs may be damaged or faulty, there may be a problem with the roller system, your wood window frames may have warped, or there may be damage beneath the surface.

7. Your windows are looking old and outdated

Most windows will have a lifespan of between 15 and 20 years. Beyond that, the seals start to weaken, the window frame begins to deteriorate, and the window looks old and outdated.

As well as lacking in their visual appeal, older windows are likely inefficient in their function. This is due to almost all windows installed 15 to 20 years ago using single-pane glass, which, compared to today’s high-quality window options, is seen to be ineffective and more costly. Whether double or triple-paned, the windows used today have far better capabilities of restricting the transfer of heat and sound.

So, if you’ve been living in your home for 20-plus years or have moved into an older home, it would be wise to take a closer look at your old windows and see if they are overdue for a replacement.

8. Inside your home is getting hot

If your home is becoming unbearably hot and stuffy even when the windows are closed, it might be time to start thinking about some new windows.

Old and outdated home windows have notoriously poor insulation capabilities, which means your windows will struggle to keep out the heat on a sunny summer's day. This will leave your HVAC system working twice as hard to regulate the temperature in your home and, as a result, cause a spike in your electric bill.

Installing new double-pane windows will help keep your home more consistently comfortable and will also take some strain off your HVAC system.

9. You are thinking of selling your home

If you plan on selling your home and want to add value to your home, consider replacing your windows. Installing new windows will often have a great return on investment, especially if your existing windows look far from their best.

Installing new windows is a fantastic home improvement that will spruce up the inside of your home and boost your home’s curb appeal. By replacing windows and improving your home's exterior and aesthetics, more potential buyers are drawn to your home, and as a result, the perceived value of your home is increased.

10. You want your windows to function differently

Windows can come in various shapes, sizes, styles, and functions. Each window type and its function provide something different to your home, whether it be natural light, airflow, or aesthetics. For example, a picture window is perfect for providing an unobstructed view of the outdoors, while a casement window can provide ample natural ventilation.

If your current window is not providing your home with what it needs, and you’re looking to change the function of the window, then it is worthwhile considering a window replacement.

What does it cost to replace your windows?

The cost of a window replacement will vary depending on several factors, such as the window type, frame material, brand, and where your window is located in your home. However, the average price of a replacement window is around $750 per window.

If you’re looking to change the size, shape, or type of your replacement window from your existing one, you should expect a considerable rise in price. Any change in the shape or size of your window will result in additional labor and a more complex installation.

Before arranging a window replacement, check the warranty of your existing window. Depending on the type of window warranty, you may be covered for certain manufacturer defects or errors caused by professional installation.

Get your windows replaced today

While any of these tell-tale signs warrant a window replacement, some issues are more urgent than others. For example, if there are visible damages to your window, such as cracks in the glass or window frame, it is recommended that you arrange a window replacement as soon as possible.

If one or multiple of these signs can be applied to your windows, it’s best to inspect them and determine whether they can be repaired or replaced.

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Written by

Cameron Bates Content Specialist

Cameron Bates is a Content Specialist at Fixr.com.