While nestled comfortably in our homes, windows offer a glimpse of the amazing sights around us. Whether it’s nature, trees and flowers, stormy weather we are glad to be safe from, or a glimpse of passersby, windows are our ticket to the outside world. When our windows behave properly, they are a pleasant addition to our home. But, when they begin fogging up or allowing moisture between the panes, are harder to open, or start leaking in noise and cold or hot air that makes us uncomfortable, it’s time to remember the saying “out with the old and in with the new”.
Residential windows are built to last 15 – 20 years before the window seals can start leaking and letting moisture between the panes. When this starts happening, any insulative gas that was placed between the glass panes when the window was manufactured, has likely leaked out, thus diminishing the window’s insulative properties and increasing the electric bill. Older windows can also be harder to open and require more maintenance and repairs.
There are many reasons homeowners may consider replacing their older windows with new ones, but the Top 15 Reasons to Replace Your Windows below are the most common reasons homeowners give for replacing their aging windows.
- Comfort: With improved insulation values, new windows can help maintain a more steady and consistent indoor temperature, limiting drafts and cold spots. This helps create a more comfortable indoor living environment. With new windows, there will be no more need for rolled-up towels or blankets placed strategically to dampen cold air seepage through gaps in window frames.
- Noise Reduction: Newer windows with their better insulative properties and more snug fit can help reduce the level of outside noise that can enter the home. This provides a more relaxing, peaceful, and quieter indoor environment.
- Energy Efficiency: Modern energy-efficient features such as double or triple glazing, low-emissivity coatings, specialty gas injections, and more robust insulation may be lacking with older windows. Through the reduction of heat loss or gain, new energy-efficient windows can help lower energy costs for homeowners and help cities stay out of dangerously high electricity peak demand.
- Cost Savings: Though the upfront cost of installing new replacement windows can be significant if a large number of windows is replaced at the same time, the long-term energy savings, coupled with lower maintenance and repair costs, can make replacing older windows with newer ones a cost-effective investment over time.
- Security: Many modern windows come with locking mechanisms that are more advanced. New windows are also constructed of more durable materials, thus enhancing the security of a home. This can be an important consideration for homeowners who wish to create a safe and secure home environment for their families.
- Curb Appeal: Installing new replacement windows is a great way to add to a home’s curb appeal. Older windows may appear worn and outdated, thus detracting from the overall appearance of a home. New windows can look more aesthetically appealing and add value to a home, making the property more attractive to new buyers if the home is put up for sale.
- Increased Property Value: New windows are one of the few home renovations that can bring a good return on investment. It’s estimated that for every $10,000 spent on new window replacements, a home will appreciate $7,000. That’s a 70% return on investment and the homeowner gets to enjoy increased energy efficiency, lower electric bills, and noise levels along with added security while recouping most of the investment back if the house is put up for sale. Buyers love to purchase homes that have had new windows installed.
- Less Maintenance: With features such as easy-to-clean glass, and low-maintenance materials, newer windows can greatly reduce the time and effort needed for upkeep compared to older windows which tend to require more maintenance and frequent repairs to keep them working.
- Advanced Technology: New windows that utilize smart technology can include features such as remote-controlled or automated shading and integration with home automation systems. This adds additional convenience and value to the home compared to having to add shades, blinds, or other window coverings to older windows.
- Environmental Impact: Compared to older windows, new windows help contribute significantly more to lowering the carbon footprint by reducing the overall energy use of a home, which benefits not only the environment but city and state electrical grids as well. When homes reduce their electrical consumption, it allows states and municipalities to opt into more green energy electrical production if overall power consumption doesn’t reach the critical levels that tend to bring carbon-heavy power plants online in extreme heat or cold.
- Improved View: Larger windows and windows that have no dividers offer a more unobstructed view of the outdoors. New window construction has adapted the technology to be larger and still be more insulative than older windows that are typically smaller. This allows for a better homeowner experience overall.
- Clear Windows: Fog or moisture between window panes can obscure the view out of old windows where the window seal has failed. Over time window seals can go bad and moisture buildup or a foggy look is a clear indication that it’s time to replace the window.
- Properly Functioning: When old windows fail to open or close easily or not at all, it can be frustrating or even a safety hazard. New windows, when professionally installed, will open and close without much effort and create a more efficient and safer home environment.
- Less Allergens: If allergies seem to be worse, even though a lot of time is spent indoors, it could mean that the window seals are failing and allowing allergens to more freely blow inside. Window seals tend to degrade if a window is over 15 years old. New windows and their new seals will help alleviate this issue.
- No Carpet or Furniture Fading: Older windows typically lack UV protection and don’t feature Low-E glass. Installing new window replacements that feature this added protection will go a long way in curbing any carpet or furniture fading.
The decision to replace older windows with new ones depends upon each homeowner’s expectations of what they want from their windows. If better efficiency, lower electric bills, greater comfort, better noise protection, added security and enhanced curb appeal are desirable, then new window replacement may be a worthwhile investment for the long-term benefits it offers. The upfront cost will be higher than continuing to maintain older windows, but in the end, newer windows will save energy, add to the aesthetics of the home, and allow for a higher resale value if the house if the home is put up for sale.