When Should I Upgrade My Windows?

Valeria Kharchenko  |  November 1, 2023

When Should I Upgrade My Windows?

Old windows can cause high energy bills, but also can lead to health hazards such as moisture and mold. 

Updating your outdated, inefficient windows can transform the look, comfort, and efficiency of your home. But with replacement windows running $800 on average per window—and some luxury windows costing over $4,000—when do you know it's time to take the leap?

First, if your home’s windows are cracked or sticking, it is time to order a quote for new windows. 

But there are also less obvious signs that may indicate that it’s time for new windows. Are you staring at drafty, foggy windows that drip with condensation? This is a common indication that windows are aged and at the very least in need of re-sealing. 


Benefits of Window Upgrades

Windows are integral to the basic function of your home. Upgrading them can completely change the atmosphere and appearance of your space. 

Benefits of window upgrades include:

  • Enhanced insulation will keep summer heat out and winter warmth in, lowering energy bills.
  • Increased natural light throughout your home will create a brighter, more open feel.
  • A refreshed exterior appearance can modernize your home's curb appeal.


How Long Do Windows Last?

With proper maintenance, residential windows typically last 20-50 years before replacement is needed. Most homeowners never have to take on the project of replacing their windows, but as a property ages, it may become necessary.


Signs Your Windows Need Upgrading

With replacement windows costing an average of $800, it’s no small investment. How do you know if yours needs an upgrade? Check for these 6 signs that it's time for new windows.

#1 Visible Damage

Cracks, leaks around the frame, or missing seals point to the need for replacement. Talk to a professional about whether the seals just need replacing, or if it’s time for all new windows.

#2 Drafty Windows

Do you feel a light breeze flowing through a room even when every window is shut tight? This airflow signals that the seals around your window frames have failed or deteriorated, and it’s time for new windows. Replacing drafty, inefficient windows with new, double or tipple pained windows creates a better air barrier to trap interior air and keep heating costs down.

#3 Increased Energy Bills

Poorly insulated windows force your HVAC system to run relentlessly, trying to maintain temperature. If your energy bills are suspiciously high, it might not be your HVAC system’s fault but your windows. 

#4 Condensation 

Condensation or moisture on the inside of windowpanes means reduced insulation from seal failure. This trapped moisture can lead to mold, mildew, and window deterioration over time. Furthermore, it can lead to health hazards from mold spores. If this is happening to your windows, it’s time to bring in a professional.

#5 Operational Issues

Windows that are stuck, painted shut, or difficult to open likely need replacing. 

#6 Faded Furnishings

Do you notice furniture, carpets, or artwork near your windows becoming bleached or faded from sunlight? This indicates insufficient UV protection, allowing damaging rays to penetrate the glass and fade materials over time. Upgrading your windows can help protect your furniture and flooring.


When to Plan an Upgrade

The ideal times to replace windows is before winter and when existing ones are damaged or defective or during major renovations.

Upgrading your windows is a major investment, but new windows enhance comfort, efficiency, and aesthetics for years. Get professional estimates to budget appropriately. Doing a few windows at a time can also help spread out costs.

The right new windows can enhance your home's comfort, functionality, and beauty. By knowing what signs to look for, you can be strategic about the best time to replace them and how to work new windows into your home renovation budget.

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