What are the Signs You Need New Windows?

An old window sill with a dirty window and worn surroundingsill

Some signs you need new windows are obvious while others may be less apparent to the untrained eye. Windows that have aged out of their effectiveness can have an impact on your safety, your finances, and your home’s overall value. Understanding when it’s time to install new windows will help your family and your home thrive for years to come.

Seven Signs You Need New Windows

The following seven signs will help you determine the efficacy of your current windows and whether installing new ones may be overdue. 

1. Compromised Glass

Compromised glass is an umbrella term used to describe window panes that are shattered, broken, or cracked or those with visibly chipped glazes or coatings. Damage to glass can result from environmental circumstances or even be caused by anthropogenic accidents or force. In worst-case scenarios, compromised glass can make it easy for home intruders to break and enter the premises. 

Not only is compromised glass a danger to the safety of your home’s inhabitants, but it’s a massive detriment to the energy efficiency of your home. By allowing air to both escape and enter the home, flaws in your window panes will cause temperature fluctuations that make your home uncomfortable during the winter and summer months. Faulty glass may also allow pollutants and allergens to enter the home.

2. Cracked or Decaying Frames

Over time, window frames naturally develop minute cracks and structural imperfections with age. As the windows get older, you may notice more overt rot or rust develop (depending on the material of your window). Take into account your local climate. In coastal areas, everything from strong winds to airborne salts and pollutants can damage your home’s frame and molding, shortening the overall lifespan of your windows. 

3. Increasing Energy Bills

Of all the signs you need new windows, a sharp increase in your usual monthly energy bills is by far the most telling. While a certain amount of fluctuation in utility bills is normal if you live in areas that experience all four seasons, abnormal spikes in your bill may mean that your windows are overdue for replacement. 

Drafts

Persistent drafts near and around your windows mean that your HVAC systems are working overtime to cool or heat your living quarters, raising your energy bills in turn. If you feel any currents of air or experience the indoor temperature getting noticeably colder or hotter while standing next to your closed windows, your old windows are probably leaking.

Sometimes drafts are slightly more difficult to detect. Experts recommend using a simple method known as the “candle test” to determine if your windows are emitting drafts or allowing air to escape. Hold an ignited gas lighter or an open candle flame next to a locked window. If the flame flickers or bends directionally, you’ve found an air leak.

As a solution, new, more energy-efficient windows are sure to lower energy bills almost immediately after their installation. 

4. Operational Troubles

Are your windows stubbornly sticking when you attempt to open, close, or lock them? Trouble operating your windows is often an overt sign that they’re failing to seal properly, or are losing their original airtight properties. Windows should open and close seamlessly, for both practical ease of use and so that your home is sealed properly against outside air. 

5. Elevated Indoor Humidity Levels

Some level of interior condensation is normal, especially during the winter months when outdoor and indoor temperatures are most at odds with one another. But too much condensation or moisture buildup between double-paned glass means trouble, indicating a thermal seal failure on your windows.

High levels of indoor humidity can cause interior mold, which can damage furniture and even the structural integrity of the building if left unaddressed. For individuals living with mild to severe asthma or allergies, inhaling an excess of microorganisms that favor humid environments can exacerbate pre-existing health problems

If using a humidistat to monitor indoor moisture levels, keep in mind that a well-sealed home’s relative humidity levels should fall comfortably between 45 to 60 percent. If the measured percentage reads higher than 60 percent, it’s probably one of the signs that you need new windows.

6. Leakage and Noise

Great windows should let all the natural light into your home—without letting in any other unwanted elements. If you’re witnessing any amount of water leakage indoors around your windows—no matter how small—it’s time to reassess whether it’s time to replace the whole unit. If your window frame feels soft or mushy to the touch, installing a replacement is definitely wise. 

Water is not the only element able to sneak inside a damaged window; noise from neighboring streets and industries will sound especially loud and unpleasant through windows whose sealing has failed. You’ll want to preserve the peace and quiet of your home by installing new windows with more soundproof qualities. 

7. Outdated Curb Appeal

For many families, the age of a home can be a source of pride; it’s wonderful to celebrate the historic value of a property or to pass a home down through the generations. However, windows don’t always age as gracefully. Older windows not only lack functionality but can become unpleasantly dilapidated or shabby over time. Water-stained panes scratched or clouded glass, and overtly damaged window frames can be eyesores for both you and your neighbors. 

Why New Windows Matter

To Repair or Replace?

While repairing damaged or compromised windows is always an option, this approach can become increasingly costly over time. Total window replacement is an unfortunate inevitability; sinking your hard-won earnings into repairing outdated windows is almost always a losing game. While new windows are costly on the front end, they improve your home’s overall value, meaning that some of that cost will be recovered with a more substantial ROI. 

Research shows that windows should be replaced every 15 to 20 years depending on their material and original quality. When it comes time to dismantle and reinstall new windows, there are some important factors to consider during the window replacement process, including deciding on the appropriate time of year to make the switch in conjunction with the local climate. You’ll also need to determine which materials are suitable for your home’s needs, upkeep, and aesthetics. 

Once those decisions have been made, your new windows will have the combined benefits of being energy efficient, safe, soundproof, and aesthetically charming all at once.  

Replace Your Windows With Acadian 

When you notice any combination of the aforementioned signs you need new windows, Acadian Windows is a top replacement window provider for hundreds of neighborhoods within Louisiana and Mississippi. Operating locally in the Gulf South, we know exactly what kind of duress your homes experience and are ready to problem solve accordingly. Our professional teams are dedicated to providing top-quality products and installation services customized to meet your home’s specific needs. Contact us today to learn more about what we have to offer, so that your next window replacement is the one that’s sure to last for decades.