Deciding when to replace your windows can be stressful. We get that. After all, we’re not talking about some minor expense here. The average price range of window replacement is thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. So, it’s natural and wise to be hesitant to pull the trigger on such a significant home renovation project.
Still, as we will see, getting your windows replaced when they need it is essential. If you let your windows get too old, they will damage your home and cost you a lot more money in repair and energy bills. Furthermore, they will make your home less comfortable for your family and become an eyesore, decreasing your property value.
But don’t let the risks and the stress get you down! Our experienced team is here to help you make the right decision about your windows.
At Your Window Solutions, we’ve helped homeowners in Chicagoland navigate the window replacement process for over 30 years. We’re not here to talk you into something you don’t need. Rather, our mission is to teach you everything you need to know about windows to make a wise choice.
In this post, we’ll share what we’ve learned about when to replace windows and provide some helpful guidance on how to get started.
When is the Best Time to Replace Your Windows?
Before we discuss the signs your windows need replacement, we want to help you understand the current state of the home renovation industry. Prices are rising for window replacement just as they’re rising for most everything else in our current economic climate. Replacement windows will never be cheaper than they are right now.
So, if you even have the slightest inkling that you need new windows, it’s a wiser financial move to act sooner rather than later. Window prices are only going to rise, so your future self will thank you. Keep this in mind as you read the rest of this article and evaluate the current state of your windows.
Here are some other circumstances that favor going forward with window replacement:
You’re Looking to Sell Your Home
Home renovations are all the rage right now. Everyone wants to cash in on this booming seller’s market, so they’re updating their homes to appeal to buyers. However, most people don’t realize that a simple thing like replacing the windows can significantly impact the sales price.
That’s right, although getting new windows isn’t as exciting as redoing the kitchen, replacing your current windows with newer alternatives can result in an 81% return on investment. Plus, windows should only be replaced every 20-30 years, meaning there will be one less project for the new occupant.
The Warmer Months Have Arrived
The best time of year to replace your windows is during the spring and summer months. There will be large gaps where the house is entirely windowless, so you don’t want to be in that situation when the air outside is frigid. So, if you’re reading this during the fall or winter, then it’s a perfect time to start planning for a project in the spring.
When Should You Replace Your Windows?
It’s one thing to know if it’s an ideal time for a window project, but it’s more important to know if your home needs it. The correct answer to the question, “When should windows be replaced?” is when your windows tell you they need changing.
Your windows will communicate this in several different ways. Below we have compiled a list of the most common signs you need new windows.
Fogging and Deterioration
A change in moisture levels can shorten the lifespan of your windows. Fog or condensation might appear on the windows or windowpanes, signifying that the windows should be swapped out. The windows expand when it’s warm outside, and when it’s cold, they contract. This constant repetition of expanding and contracting will eventually lead to cracks.
When your window begins to crack, the frame will deteriorate and let in moisture from the outside. Cracking makes it nearly impossible for the window to protect you from the elements. You won’t feel the warmth you’re used to anymore, so beware of fogging or frame corrosion, as they might be affecting the quality of your windows.
You shouldn’t feel the air from outside while you’re inside unless the windows are open. If you feel a draft coming in every time you walk by a window, it might be time to start anew. Again, the pattern of expanding and contracting leads to cracks. The repetition will also weaken the windows’ seals, creating a draft in your house. So, keep yourselves warm and know that a draft indicates when to replace your windows.
Increased Heating and Cooling Bills
Life is strange sometimes, right? Things you never thought had anything in common can end up being more alike than you think. The relationship between a house’s windows and your electricity bill is a prime example.
You’ve probably been cranking the air conditioning lately, given these extreme temperatures in McHenry, Lake County and the greater Chicagoland area. However, your thermostat shouldn’t have to work that hard!
Here’s an example of how your home’s windows and your monthly bills intertwine:
Suppose your windows are cracked, and the frame is rotted from moisture. The reality is that hot air can seep through the cracks, making your home’s temperature rise. In response, you turn the air conditioner up, and your cooling bills rise.
The opposite is true in the winter. You increase the heat because chilly air is coming through the cracks. As a result, your heating bills rise.
So, save yourself some cash and invest in a window replacement instead. Your wallet will thank you in the long run!
Excessive Outdoor Noise
No one wants to hear what their whole block is doing as they drift to sleep. Cracking won’t only lead to increased moisture and drafts, but it’ll also eliminate any sound protection you have from the outdoors. So, if you don’t want to be woken up by noisy neighbors at 1 am on a Saturday, consider getting new windows.
Difficulty Closing or Locking the Windows
Closing a window shouldn’t be a difficult project. Therefore, it’s another indicator of when to replace windows.
This problem can occur when the wood absorbs moisture over time. The absorbed moisture puts additional pressure on the window, making it hard to close and lock.
Being unable to close your windows can make it easier for intruders to get into your home. For security purposes, you should get new windows if they won’t close/lock or if one is damaged. Ignoring window damage leaves you more susceptible to break-ins.
Old or Worn Appearance
Old or worn windows are another answer to the question of when windows need to be replaced. Though it might sound superficial, there are significant benefits to replacing windows that don’t look good anymore. Here are a few examples:
- New windows elevate the look of the entire block.
- Fresh windows give the house’s exterior much-needed refreshment, potentially increasing your property value.
- Swapping out old windows for newer options might inspire your neighbors to do the same.
If you notice any of the warning signs listed above, you should consider a window replacement ASAP. Yes, the initial investment is hefty. However, your quality of life will improve greatly, and you’ll save money in the long run.
What to Look for When Replacing Windows
Of course, deciding when to replace windows is only half the battle. Once you determine you need new windows, the next steps are to find a trustworthy window replacement company and decide what type of replacement windows you’d like to get. Here are some helpful tips to get you started with both:
Find a Reliable Window Replacement Company
Start by identifying a window replacement company with a long track record and reputation for success. You can do this by reading online reviews and seeking out people you know who have received service from the company.
Beyond this, you want to find a company that puts your needs first, offers competitive pricing and installs factory direct windows. You can learn more about how to do this in our guide to finding the best window replacement company.
Choose Quality Window Materials
The company you choose will assist you in finding the ideal materials for your window replacement. Many people ask us what gets replaced when you get new windows. The answer is usually the old window frame, sash, glass and operating hardware. Since there are so many components to select and options to choose from, it’s good to have the support of a helpful and trustworthy contractor.
One of the decisions you’ll have to make is choosing between materials like vinyl and aluminum. As you will see in our aluminum vs. vinyl windows guide, this involves navigating factors like appearance, cost, ease of use, energy efficiency and maintenance. In this case, vinyl is the clear winner over aluminum. However, other materials could be better for you than vinyl, depending on your objectives.
Ultimately, a window company should always prioritize your needs when helping you determine the top replacement windows for you.
New Windows Address Many Problems
It may seem daunting to try to determine when to replace your windows. However, as we’ve seen in this post, there’s no time like the present if your windows are showing signs of age and deterioration. With a trustworthy window company and the right materials, the window replacement process will go smoothly, and your home and family will benefit for decades to come.
Dependable window replacement is the name of the game at Your Window Solutions. With a combined 30+ years of industry knowledge, we know what customers want, and they’re more than just a name on a piece of paper to us. Our team is very hands-on and trustworthy, meaning the job will be done right.
Interested in durable new windows from our company? Please call (833) 367-9687 or visit the link below to learn more about the services we offer.
Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published in June 2022 and updated in July 2023.