When homeowners decide to undertake a home renovation project, few consider the importance of upgrading their windows. After all, new windows are a considerable investment and, unlike upgrading home appliances in the kitchen or fixtures in the bathroom, upgraded windows are subtle accents that few regularly pay attention to.
Nevertheless, upgrading your windows can provide important benefits to the functionality of and atmosphere in your home spaces.
Benefits of window replacements
Aesthetics aside, your windows play a critical role in the overall well-being of your home and its inhabitants. Beyond the great views to the outdoors they provide, installing new energy-efficient windows increases property value and improves the ambiance in your home.
Other benefits include:
Improved home security
Reduced sound transmission
Energy cost savings
More light and enhanced views
Reduced fading of interior
Your current home windows may not sufficiently provide these benefits. So if you’re considering upgrading your windows but are unsure as to whether the time is right, there are several warning signs to be on the lookout for.
Rotting, warped or damaged window frames: Some window damage can easily be repaired, particularly minor damage such as weatherstripping. But, if your windows present visible signs of rot or wrapping around the sash or frame, then replacement is the preferred solution. Not only are rotting or wrapped windows unsightly, they are also prone to more severe problems later down the road.
Avoiding replacement may lead to your window sash or frame losing its structural cohesion, leading to further decay and introducing moisture damage to your windows, which can cause condensation and leaks to occur.
Inadequate insulation capabilities: For homeowners who live in coastal towns or regions with multiple seasons, insulation plays an important role in improving the overall comfort of your home. Your home insulation affects a number of things throughout your home. Your windows are a major factor in which heat loss can occur, particularly if your window system has inadequate insulation capabilities.
The effects of natural weather phenomena can cause havoc on your home exterior. In time, this will do a number on your home insulation capabilities as well. If the winter season feels extremely chilly unlike before (even when temperatures are basically the same as last season), then it’s time to consider replacing your windows.
Lack of safety: When your windows present evidence of damage to the window sash or frame, the security of your home is definitely compromised. Damaged windows have the tendency to stick when opening or closing, which creates poor functionality. This can lead to windows “resisting” being opened and, in some instances, not locking properly.
As windows play a factor in your home security, windows that become stiff and do not lock properly become weak points in the structural security of your home.
High heating and cooling bills: As a significant component of your home energy expenses, your windows do contribute greatly to your home energy bills. According to The Centre for Sustainable Energy, the average home will lose 10% of its heat through its windows. So, not only will energy-efficient windows reduce heat loss throughout your home, resulting in fewer cold spots and draughts in your home during winter, they will also reduce your home’s carbon footprint.
In the UK alone, when the owners of a single-glazed house replaced their windows to double glazed ones, they were able to save up to £110 annually. That’s a lot in terms of annual savings!
Windows in a historic home: If you and your family have just moved homes, especially to a grandfather home or a historic home, one of the first things you should consider doing is upgrading your windows. Windows occupy approximately 20% of the surface area of typical home exterior walls, making them a prominent feature of the home, particularly in a historic home.
Upgrading your windows is a critical design decision that can affect the aesthetic appeal of your new (old) home.
Preserving your home’s historic architectural components can still be done even with energy-efficiency window upgrades. Certain companies specialize in historically accurate window replacements (and other design elements) so your historic home does not lose its aesthetic appeal and overall integrity in the process of redoing it.
Best window replacement solutions
If your windows display any of the aforementioned red flags, then it might be time to consider upgrading your windows. But with so many replacement options available, it may be difficult to determine which window fixtures best suit your needs or, more importantly, your budget.
To help you sort through the list, here’s what you need to know.
There are two basic window styles, operable and fixed. Operable window styles can be opened while fixed windows are basically non-opening units.
Fixed windows are often installed directly to the frame and serve as accent fixtures or large picture windows to create optimum views of the outdoors. Examples of fixed windows include bay, bow, Palladian, and garden.
Operable windows come in many styles. Some popular designs are listed below:
Double- or single-hung windows
Tilt and turn windows
Several factors will determine the right window replacements for your home. Things like budget, your home aesthetics, the importance of ventilation throughout the space, ease of maintenance, privacy, and security will guide your decision-making process in selecting new windows.
Double glazing: While selecting the desired aesthetic of your replacement windows, consider installing double glazed windows. Double glazed windows, with their two separate glass panes and a layer of inert gas, creates a structural design that improves your home’s thermal performance, sound insulation, security and privacy.
Final word: Your windows are a gateway to the outdoors. They allow air in during warm summer months, natural light throughout the home, and provide comfort and warmth in the dead of winter. But as your windows age, they can contribute to higher energy bills, compromise your home security, and reduce the overall comfort level of your home.
It’s important to know when to replace your windows to maintain your home’s level of comfort and structural integrity. Just remember, avoid the DIY renovation route. Doing so can create pitfalls that can lead to a waste of investment, energy and effort.
Window installation is a skilled job, so invest in a professional, trusted window installer.