Determining when to replace windows is not always such an easy task. There are several ways to check to determine if it is time to replace those outdated or inefficient windows.
First of all, it is important to go with the obvious, which is the age of the windows. If they are older than fifteen years it is very necessary to replace them. However, sometimes newer windows need to be replaced as well due to other factors. One of these factors is whether the window is a single or double pane. A single pain window wastes a lot of energy. Frost can also develop easily on the inside of the window which could eventually cause mold to develop once it thaws.
Secondly, it is helpful to feel around the window where the glass meets the frame. If there are drafts and cold or hot spots, it could be time to replace the windows. These all show that there is a problem with the energy efficiency of the windows. Usually replacement can cause substantial savings on the heating and cooling utility costs, thereby offsetting the cost of replacement.
Another issue to look at when making the decision to possibly replace the windows is the general functionality. Do they open and close properly? If they are sticky and difficult to slide it is time to replace them. If the windows fall when open and need a stick to prop them it is a good sign for needing replacement. This could cause a serious injury if the stick becomes dislodged causing the window to slam shut.
It is also helpful to look at the panes closely to observe for moisture on the inside of the windows. It sometimes can cause small circular mold spots to grow between the panes of glass. This would warrant replacement. It is also a good idea to test the wood frame around the windows. If the wood is soft around the windows, there may be decay which would warrant the need for full frame replacement.
There are many factors to look at when determining if it is time to replace the windows. Sometimes the newer more efficient windows can actually save the consumer money in the long run. If it is still questionable whether to replace the windows, it may be helpful to call in a professional. This person can inspect the windows and give proper recommendations to the consumer.