When Should You Replace Your Windows?

You’ll have to ask yourself a few questions before you know if window replacement is right for you. We’ve put together a list of questions that will help you decide.

Are you having trouble opening and closing your windows?

This is a good sign that you need replacement windows. Think of a window as a perfect square installed inside of a perfectly square hole at the time the home was built. A home does the majority of it’s settling during the first 10 years. After that period the hole the square window is installed in is no longer square which knocks the window frame out of square. The square sash inside the frame then gets stuck or drags badly when you try to open it. This can be a serious problem in the event of a fire and is a very good reason in itself to replace your windows. It shouldn’t have to be difficult to enjoy the outside weather from inside your home (and to get out in case of an emergency!). The only solution is to install a replacement window that is slightly smaller than the original window so you have room in the opening to square the new window.

Do you find moisture between the panes of window’s glass?

What is commonly referred to as ‘seal failure’ can greatly reduce your energy efficient windows. If you experience moisture between the panes of double pane window then you have seal failure. A double pane window with seal failure is just about as energy efficient as a single pane window. Not all dual pane windows are the same. If you don’t want the new window to have seal failure, make sure the new replacement window has a hermetically sealed space between the glass. This reduces the risk of seal failure again.

Do your current windows have single-pane glass?

Single pane windows are the least energy efficient windows. They allow for the most heat and cold to transfer between the indoors and outdoors. This is the most common reason homeowners replace windows.

Can outside noises be heard clearly?

Modern windows are not only energy efficient, but they can reduce sound transfer as well. If noises from outside your home can be heard from inside, it is a good sign that you need replacement windows. Replacing your windows with newer double pane windows can greatly reduce the sound transfer from the outside to the inside. If the new window frame is made of aluminum, it will not reduce sound transmission very much even with dual pane glass. Aluminum is an amplifier of sound.

Is your air conditioner consistently running in the summer and winter months?

If your home cannot keep a consistent temperature it is most likely due to the windows. The key quality of an energy efficient window is that they can keep your home comfortable. Whether it be winter or summer, they allow your home to keep a consistent temperature on the inside.

Do you windows close and lock properly and easily?

Besides being a safety issue, air can easily flow through windows and doors that do not close or lock properly. As mentioned earlier, older windows are no longer square. This results in gaps around the frame. As you can imagine, that will greatly reduce the window’s efficiency. More importantly, windows that do not lock properly are a huge safety concern. That in itself is a good reason for window replacement.

Is the SHG-rating of a replacement window the only thing that matters in hot climates like Arizona, or is the U-rating important also?

Both are very important. A lot of companies will tell people that only the SHG-rating for a replacement window is important in places like Phoenix. They are doing a major disservice for their customers. The glass may cost less but it only gives protection while the sun is shining on it. There are virtually no windows exposed to direct sunlight for more than a couple of hours per day. However, all windows in a home are exposed to ambient temperature 24 hours per day, every day of the year. It doesn’t matter if it is 20 degrees outside, or 118 degrees outside. Heat is either flowing in or out constantly. A window with a poor U-rating is not equipped to handle that transfer.

In Summary:

The lower the SHG-rating, the better the window performs in the direct sunlight.

The lower the U-rating, the better the window keeps ambient heat from transferring from the outside to the inside during the summer and the vice versa in the winter.

You can confirm this at www.efficientwindow.org