How do you know when your windows need repairs and improvements or if they really need replacing? Here are a few tips to help you navigate your way through the world of windows.
Why improve or replace your windows? There are two major reasons to pay attention to your windows:
• Energy and cost savings
• Improved comfort (temperature) inside your home
The obvious indicators that you need to replace a window are:
• Condensation between the panes of glass
• Moisture and mold between the window frame and the wall
• Mold between the panes of glass
• Can’t see clearly through the windows, despite washing
• Broken glass
• Major drafts can be felt around the perimeter of the windows, at the sill or checkrail
• The windows no longer act as an efficient barrier between the outside and inside temperature.
If your windows do not show any of the above indicators and are still in good enough condition to keep, a number of improvements can be done to them instead of investing in replacement windows:
• Caulking and weatherstripping can easily be applied to cracks, gaps and joints in order to reduce air leakage.
• Storm windows installed on either the interior or exterior of your existing windows can reduce air leakage and improve the insulating value of your windows. They can be used seasonally or permanently and interior installation is easier to maintain. It is worth noting that storm windows must be properly installed to avoid condensation problems.
• Solar control window film can be applied to reduce solar heat gain in warm climates. Be sure to use a certified product.
At the end of the day, modern, Energy Star rated windows will generally offer much better insulating values, air tightness and condensation resistance than older windows and can improve your home’s resale value. This is a major home improvement and it is worth taking the time to decide which is the best route for you to take.
If you are in the market for replacement windows, look for windows with Energy Star rating for your area of the country and find out if you quality for any federal or state tax credits.
Resource: Efficient Windows Collaborative
What measures do you take to make your home more energy efficient through the winter months? Share your tips in our comments section below.