Unfortunately, windows do not last forever, and those made several decades ago have an even shorter life expectancy than most modern windows. Wooden windows are often ready for replacement after just 10 to 20 years, and aluminum windows last about 20 to 25 years.
The amount of wear and tear your windows experience can vary drastically depending on your environment, landscaping and maintenance habits. For this reason, you can't rely entirely on age to determine when your windows need to be replaced. Instead, keep your eyes peeled for these five signs that it's time for new windows.
1. Condensation Accumulates Between the Panes
If you're noticing condensation on the inside of your windows, your indoor air may be too humid or you may not using your bathroom exhaust fan properly. However, when condensation shows up between the two panes of a double-pane window, this is a much bigger issue.
Condensation between the panes indicates that air is leaking in between the panels, which means they are no longer tightly sealed into the sash. The sash material may be bowing or deteriorating.
Replacing the window is the best way to permanently eliminate moisture between the glass panes. Act quickly so you don't have mold and algae growth inside your windows.
2. Sash Is Rotting or Corroding
If you have wooden windows, take a close look at the wood sash surrounding the glass pane. If the sash is beginning to rot and crumble to the extent that the glass is loose in the sash, you need a new window. Loose glass allows for air leaks and can be dangerous as the glass can easily be knocked out of place by a strong wind.
If you have aluminum window sashes, look over them for signs of corrosion or bowing, which occurs as the metal is repeatedly exposed to changes in temperature and humidity. If the metal shows signs of extensive corrosion, or again, if the window panes feel loose in the sash, it's time for new windows.
A window is meant to be a barrier between your home's interior and the outdoors, so if there is air blowing in around the window, it is not doing its job. Drafts usually indicate that the sash has begun to separate from the glass or that the sash is no longer fitting tightly into the window frame. In either case, new windows will eliminate drafts and keep your home more comfortable.
4. Energy Bills Have Increased
Windows made several decades ago are not as efficient as today's windows, and windows also lose efficiency as they age and grow loose in their frames. If your energy bills have been creeping up for seemingly no reason, it could be because your windows are aging.
Updating your windows could lead to substantial savings. Energy Star estimates that the average homeowner saves $126 to $465 per year when replacing old, single-pane windows with new, energy-efficient ones.
5. Windows Are Not Safe for Children
As windows age, they may begin presenting risks to your child's safety. If you have double-hung windows that no longer stay up when opened, there's a chance the window could fall and slam shut on your child's fingers.
If your windows no longer lock properly, you need to be aware that children could open the windows and fall out. Double-hung windows should open from the top so you can ventilate the room without worrying about a child falling through the window.
Window-related accidents may sound unlikely, but in fact, more than 3,300 children are injured in window-related accidents each year in the U.S. If you have a child in your home, it's a good idea to have any aging and unsafe windows replaced before an accident occurs.
If you notice any of the signs above or are still unsure whether you need to replace your windows, contact the experts at The Screen Shop, Inc. We offer free estimates and will help you choose the replacement windows that are perfect for your home.