Maintaining a home is expensive, and if you're planning on tackling a major renovation or improvement project, chances are you're focusing-in on the "fun" stuff – including creating a dream kitchen or a luxurious master bathroom. However, before you start tearing down walls or choosing the ideal color of subway tile, it's important to examine the integrity of a vital aspect of your home: the windows. These thin pieces of glass unfortunately have a shelf life and there are clear signs it's time to start shopping for replacements. Here are a few:
You Felt a Draft While Agonizing Over Your Exorbitant Energy Bill
Are you constantly yelling at your kids, or even cat, to keep the windows closed? Is your electric bill slowly climbing, and you haven't touched the thermostat in weeks? If so, the culprit might be one or several of the windows throughout your home.
Even if there aren't any visible cracks in the glass panes, the cool or warm air could still be making it into your home through damage in the frame. Not only can this draft make your home uncomfortable, according to the United States Department of Energy, improperly sealed or older windows can raise your winter energy bills by 10 percent to 25 percent.
If your biggest concern is keeping your electric bills under control, the US Dept of Energy recommends replacing your current windows with models that feature high-performance glass. These types of windows are more expensive, but they feature a coating that can help you save big money over the course of their lifetime.
Whether your home features cost-effective, single-pane windows or high-quality, double-pane models, there is one problem you cannot escape: condensation. The condensation forms when moist, warm air comes into contact with cool air. However, if you have double-pane windows and you cannot wipe away the condensation with a paper towel or your sleeve, the moisture is actually trapped between the two pieces of glass.
While this might seem like a minor, easily-repairable issue, it's vital to realize that condensation between two panes of glass is actually a sign there's damage or the window's seal was broken. When this occurs, the krypton or argon gas that provides the extra layer of protection will inevitably escape and cannot be replaced.
It's possible to have a double-pane window repaired, but once seal is broken and the gas has seeped out, they are impossible to repair or replace. Instead, if you still want to reap the benefits of double-pane windows, the best option is to replace any damaged units.
The Guy At the Hardware Store Knows You By Name
Are you becoming a regular at your local hardware store, and is the main reason because you're constantly purchasing new sealant, weatherstripping or other products to repair your damaged windows? It's not uncommon for older windows to constantly require repair, and many times the cost to maintain less energy-efficient, single-pane windows is more costly than having them replaced. If so, replacing the window or windows with new, energy-efficient models will help save you from the embarrassment of being labeled that "person" who spends more time at the hardware store than with their family on the weekends!
If you're suffering from any of the above-mentioned issues, or want to increase the value and desirability of your home before it goes on the market, don't hesitate to have any of your older windows replaced with newer, energy-efficient models. Splurging on high-performance, thermal windows from a place like fivestarwindows.com might seem like a huge investment, but it's well worth the energy savings and the great impression you will make on potential buyers!