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Replacement Windows: When should I change my windows?

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Change is inevitable. We change our oil. We change our sheets. Even the cells in our bodies are on a rhythmic cycle of change. But “changing the windows” doesn’t come up much in the regular day-to-day chore list.

The problem is that windows are rarely cheap and so unlike some of the other small changes we make in our homes, replacement windows are an investment you might need to prepare for.

In terms of the changes you can make to improve overall energy efficiency, windows rarely pay for themselves. However, they can still be a large source of energy loss. Poorly performing windows will drive your energy bills up – air leaks are the major source of energy loss in a home – and can create an uncomfortable interior during the hottest and coldest parts of the year. So that brings us to the big question:

When Should I Change My Windows?

1. The window is shut so where’s that breeze coming from?
One sign that replacement windows are in order is when you pass by a window on a cold winter’s day and feel that cold winter day seeping into your home via a leaky window. Perhaps you found a draft when you performed your home energy audit. Or maybe you noticed it when the window was shut and your heavy velvet drapes were flapping around as if it were a breezy spring day. Either way, if the air leak is more than some caulking or weather stripping can repair, it’s time to think about replacement windows.

2. What’s that filmy stuff?
Remember the periodic table from chemistry class? It turns out Ar, Argon, is a real element after all. It’s the most common gas used in double-paned windows. Argon is inserted between the two panes of glass. Since it’s more dense than air, it works to keep surrounding air from infiltrating the space, which helps to create improved window insulation. If a leak occurs in the window, and the Argon leaks out, air can circulate between the panes. This can cause condensation (see #3) and/or a foggy film to appear on the glass. The foggy film is an aesthetic nuisance which can warrant replacement windows if it bothers you, especially if you plan to sell your home in the near future.

3. Window Condensation:
If the temperature of the air outside is cooler than the air inside, in combination with a seal failure will form window condensation. In this example, the condensation will occur on the interior of your window panes. While it can occupy your children on snow days as a water-on-window finger painting activity, it can do major structural damage over time. Years of accumulated condensation can seep into the wooden sills and/or the interior of the walls. This leads to overall wood and sheetrock rot, mold/mildew, and unsightly staining. Replacement windows will do the trick.

4. If the window is broken or cracked:
Hopefully this was closer to Number 1 on your list of reasons why you would need a replacement window. But just in case, a cracked or broken window is not only a major energy waster and an eyesore, it’s also very dangerous. Glass is sharp and a window explosion or implosion of any kind should be avoided if possible.

5. Those old rotten frames:
Old window frames, especially wooden ones, can begin to rot. This creates air leaks and moisture leaks. Leaky air means leaky energy. Moisture leaks often lead to other structural damage and possible mold/mildew. New construction replacement windows will give you new frames and windows too.

Once you’ve installed your replacement windows, you can sit back, relax and enjoy the new view.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Call us at 1.877.579.1994 or click here to price your project. Come and see us for a Dan Good Deal at 199 Victoria Street South, Kitchener, ON N2G 2C1.