When it comes to home improvement projects, replacement windows are not at the top of most homeowners to-do lists, as they do not provide much of a decorative change. However, if your home is more than 20 years old, it is important to identify some of the warning signs that tell you it’s time to consider the project.

If your windows show signs of age or deterioration, it is important that you consider replacement.  Windows play an important role in your homes efficiency. When windows do not fully close, or have warped, the conditioned air in your home escapes and unconditioned outdoor air enters your home.  When it comes to window replacement, it is important to fix the problem before it worsens, and save yourself money while doing so.

Here are the four common signs that it is time to replace your windows:

Your windows do not lock properly – Is it difficult or impossible for the latches or locking mechanism on your windows to close? Do your windows still open when you think they are locked? This means the security of your home is compromised. Broken locks are not only an access point for intruders, windows that do not close all the way provide drafts, the infiltration of outside elements including water and other debris, and even bugs crawling through the cracks into your home.

Drafty, air infiltration – Is it noticeably colder by your windows during the winter and warmer in the summer? Do your blinds or curtains tend to move by themselves? This is a sign that air is leaking into your home and whether you realize it or not, it’s affecting your energy bills all year round.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that drafty windows are only a problem in colder temperatures.  That is why you’ll see plastic from those do-it-yourself insulator kits or towels on window sills. Once the season changes, they are gone. Although many homeowners think they are providing a temporary fix, it is not true. Drafts from cold air may be more noticeable, but whether you use your heat in the winter or cooling system in the summer, a drafty window will cause inefficiency during both seasons. If you hear your HVAC system constantly cycling, it could mean your windows are drafty.

Hard to open, close or operate – Opening and closing a window should be a one-finger operation. Do you find yourself needing to use both hands and sometimes a foot planted against a wall to get a difficult window open? When the sashes don’t operate properly, you’re losing efficiency, and may cause further damage to your window, its frame or the glass.

Condensation – Condensation is the buildup of moisture. It can form on the outside of the glass or in between the panes. It’s important to understand the differences between the two.

“Is condensation on the surface of the glass a bad thing? No, it’s not,” The Men With Tools Owner John Kolbaska said. “If you can wipe the condensation off of the glass, the window is doing its job. It is keeping the warm air out during the winter and the cold air out during the winter.  Condensation on your windows is an indication that the moisture level in your home is high.

When condensation forms between the panes of your window, this is an indication that your windows have seal failure. Seal failure usually first forms at the bottom of the glass where it will look like dirt that can’t be cleaned. Over time, it’ll grow larger in size turning into white grime. Eventually you won’t be able to see out of your window clearly.

Another less common sign that your windows seals have failed is a rainbow effect forming in the middle of your glass. Both are noticeable signs that it may be time to consider replacing your windows.

If you see any of the signs above, now may be a good time to replace your windows. Today’s replacement windows are much more energy efficient. They come standard with Low-E coatings, argon gas and double-pane glass packages. These new options will save you money and return your investment over the long haul. Consult with a professional window installation company about the products, services and offers they provide when considering the replacement of your windows.

John Kolbaska, President – The Men With Tools Home Remodeling

(347) 815-4151   www.themenwithtools.com