There are a number of considerations that can make homeowners hesitate to replace their windows, but sometimes it’s just a better idea to invest in your home. Find out if your windows meet any of the following criteria for replacement:
Condensation can collect on the window pane on the side facing outwards, the side facing inside your home, and between the window panes themselves. Double-pane windows are manufactured to form a seal, trapping a selected mix of gases (often air, which is largely nitrogen, or argon) between the panes. Whatever gas is used inside the pane, it’s supposed to hold little moisture. Over time, the seal formed by the window will naturally leak the original fill into the environment at about one per cent a year. This gradual replacement is part of the window’s design and won’t dramatically change the way it works — it’s only when much of the manufacturer-filled gas escapes that condensation will be a problem.
Replace if: windows appear hazy or drops of water stream down the inside of the window.
Your windows are old
There is historical and economic value to the conservation of old buildings. For one, the quality of wood in historical windows can be significantly higher than what you find today. Much of the wood used for furniture and carpentry was made of dense, old wood, which was heavier but also stronger and more durable. If your windows are not from the 1940s or before, there’s a good chance that high quality wood was not used and there’s very little value in keeping the window; in fact, if you inspect the frame or jamb, you’ll likely find some form of damage, such as:
Replace if: the window is seriously damaged since the cost of repair is not worth it.
It’s impossible to open or close your window
For newer windows, such as ones with a vinyl sash, there’s often a way to adjust the internal mechanism and improve their operation:
On the other hand, some problems are beyond repair, like warped frames and crooked jambs.
Listed above are some of the more subtle indicators that you need new windows, but you shouldn’t hesitate in case more serious issues appear. A broken window can constitute a near emergency, especially in Canada with our frigid winter temperatures.