Window replacement is a home improvement project that should take high priority when it is needed, especially when there are visible signs of drafty windows. When windows become a source of drafts in the home, it is a good sign that they have reached the end of their lifespan.
The good thing about replacing windows is that it is a home improvement project that can pay for itself over time. The greater energy efficiencies provided by new windows create cost savings for a homeowner. The first step in determining whether or not new windows are needed is identifying common signs that they are, indeed, compromised and creating drafts.
Here are a few visible signs of drafty windows and signs that your home’s windows are likely adding additional costs to your heating and cooling bills:
1. The Seal is Cracking or Damaged
The first thing you will want to check is the seals around the edge of the windows. The seals around the panes and casings should not be cracked or suffering from dry rot. Especially with older windows, and those with wooden casings, the expansion and contraction of the material that the window is made from can cause seals to break over time. This break in the windows seal is a common culprit for letting drafts into the home. This is also one of the reasons to replace your old windows.
2. The Window Sits Out of Plumb and is Crooked
Windows that sit out-of-plumb usually are the first to fail in creating an airtight seal when closed. Oftentimes, these windows will open or close with added difficulty. This is often a sign that the windows have warped over time or perhaps were even installed incorrectly.
Crooked windows are often hard to close and latch. This creates additional space between the casings, which is another place for cold winter drafts to enter the home and increase your heating bill or to increase your cooling bills in the summer.
3. The Window Panes are Cracked
Cracked window panes are easy to identify and they are a sure sign that your windows aren’t operating with the level of efficiency they should be. In addition to being unsightly, cracked panes do not allow the window to seal. If you have insulated windows filled with argon gas between the panes to increase energy efficiency, this benefit will have been lost with cracked window panes.
4. There is Condensation on the Windows or Between the Panes
Excessive condensation on your windows, or worse, between the panes, may be a sign that they are not as energy-efficient as they once were. Condensation between the window panes can be a clear indicator of failed seals while excessive condensation on the inside of the window pane can be an indicator of generally poor performance.
Not all condensation is cause for concern as some causes of window condensation are normal. If it is coming from sudden temperature changes from things such as showering, cooking, or extremely humid weather, condensation is likely normal. However, these types of condensation should be temporary and dissipate quickly once the cause of the condensation is removed from the equation. Windows that retain condensation may indicate a need for replacement.
5. The Curtains Move When the Window is Closed
If your curtains are blowing in the breeze, but your windows are closed, it’s probably not a good sign. If a draft entering the home is strong enough that it is moving your curtains, there is a good chance that your windows are showing other visible signs of damage.
Make sure that it is a draft that is moving the curtains and not a nearby vent from a forced-air heating or cooling unit. If you’re unsure, turn off the AC or furnace and see if the curtains keep moving.
Be sure to keep these tell-tale visible signs of drafty windows in the forefront and don’t waste time or extra money on energy bills when it comes to replacement windows for your home. When windows begin to fail and underperform, it can cause other issues in your home such as moisture and condensation build-up that leads to mold and mildew.
Replacing windows is a relatively quick and easy type of home improvement project and the benefits are many. If you’re seeing any visible signs of drafty windows, give us a call at (717) 399-4708 and we can help you with your window replacement project.