Have you noticed that your windows aren’t keeping out the cold and letting in as much light as they used to? Here are 7 signs you need new windows.
Did you know that a single-glazed window can lose up to 20 times more heat as the wall area that it replaces?
That’s right! And that’s only the heat loss that occurs in one window. Imagine how much more energy you’re losing with all those windows in your home.
Each window in your house could be losing even more if they’re old, outdated, and inefficient. Failed seals, worn caulking, and rotting frames could all lead to greater energy loss.
So, does this mean that you already need new windows?
It depends — windows that are less than a decade old may still be worth repairing. You also have to consider the average window replacement cost, which is about $650 per window.
That said, there are cases wherein it makes more sense to get replacement windows. Keep reading to learn how and when to tell that you need to get rid of your old windows and get new ones instead.
Let There Be Light! 7 Telltale Signs Your Home Needs New Windows
They Were There Since You Moved in 10 Years Ago
Half of the homes in the U.S. are more than three decades old. In fact, one-third of the nation’s residential properties came into existence before 1970!
If your home belongs to any of these groups, and you’ve never replaced the windows, now may be the best time to. Depending on their materials, your windows may be way past their life expectancy of 10 to 30 years.
In fact, many of the signs pointing out the need for home window replacement trace back to old age. From noise to draft to rotting, your window’s old age can be causing all these signs. That’s why age is often the main consideration when thinking of replacing windows in an old house.
Your Windows Rattle a Lot
Your windows’ old age is also the likely culprit behind rattling noises. Their materials have thinned out, corroded, or warped, so they no longer have a snug fit. This can happen to either or both of the window glass pane and the frame.
The loose frames or panes then create extra spaces in which they can move around. These are the gaps that allow the frames and panes to vibrate more than normal. So, when the wind strikes your windows, they vibrate so much that they create rattling sounds.
Although window noises are more of a bother, they can be a precursor to safety hazards. After all, rattling sounds signal that part of or the entire window is no longer secure. With enough force, the glass can shatter and cause injuries.
There’s Water or Frost Within the Glass Panes
In 2017, some 68.5 million homes in the U.S. (that’s three in five homes) had double-pane windows. Another 1.2 million homes had triple-pane windows.
One reason these multiple-paned windows have overtaken their single counterparts is energy efficiency. Depending on the efficiency rating of the windows you choose, you can get up to 50% in energy savings.
Sound-proofing is another benefit of getting double- or triple-paned windows. Since they have either two or three layers of glass, they block out more noise.
But multi-paned windows are not without their problems, one of the biggest of which is a failed seal. You’ll know that your window seals have failed if you find water or frost between their layers. Because the seal has “cracked”, moisture can now seep in between those panes.
Left untreated, the fogging or frosting will just get worse. You’ll end up unable to enjoy attractive views out of your windows. You’ll also lose natural lighting, so your home will be dimmer and may even look gloomy.
You have the option to hire a window repair service to reseal your windows. This will address the condensation issues. However, a reseal job won’t include “refilling” the windows with insulating gas.
If you have the budget, consider getting replacement windows instead. Most brand new multi-paned window systems come with a guarantee of at least 20 years. They also usually feature a 10-year warranty for window seals.
There Are Dark Streaks or Discoloration in Your Windows
Discoloration in double-pane windows can appear as dark streaks or patches. They can also be in different colors, including white, green, brown, or black. In most cases, these discolorations are mold and mildew growths.
If you see these in your windows, it means that you likely have moisture problems. The excess moisture has seeped into your window frames and into the cavity between the panes. The frames themselves may already be rotting and creating a haven for more molds.
Give these molds enough time, and they will spread to the areas near the affected windows. By then, enough rotting may have occurred that you’d need to replace the surrounding parts of the wall too.
You can keep the damage to a minimum if you replace the mold-ridden windows ASAP. This way, the rotten structures won’t have enough time to spread the decay.
You Wear Multiple Layers Inside Your Home (Even with the Windows Closed)
Do you usually wear a jacket or drape a blanket around yourself while indoors? Do you end up doing this even with all your windows closed?
If so, then it’s likely that you have drafty windows. These cold drafts can come from gaps that old and worn-out windows develop over the years. These small cracks allow cold wind to enter your home.
Worn-out glazing (the hardened putty that secures the glass to the frame) can also cause drafts. The purpose of glazing is to form a weathertight seal on the exterior side of the window. Over time, it will crack, deteriorate, and develop gaps where cold air can pass.
Depending on the extent of the damage, you may want to consider reglazing first. But if the frames already have extensive damage, a replacement may be a more sensible choice. The same goes for windows with both worn glazing and loose or broken glass panes.
You’re No Longer Getting the Most out of Your HVAC System
On their own, windows already allow up to 30% of heating energy to exit a home. Meaning, you could only be using 70% of either your heated or cooled air. You don’t get to enjoy the conditioned air that goes out of your window, but you still pay for it.
You could be wasting even more if you have old or worn-out windows. Especially the uninsulated ones, which are far less effective in preventing energy transfer.
As a result, you still feel warm or cold even if you’re already running the heater or air conditioner.
Your Energy Bills Keep Shocking You
Not getting the most out of your HVAC system will force you to crank your thermostat. But even if you do so, your windows will still bleed out heated or cooled air outside.
Despite this, your HVAC system will still have to work harder. This then translates to higher energy consumption, which equates to higher energy bills. And the older your windows get, the more conditioned air they’ll waste.
In this case, you should already consider window replacement. Doing so will let you enjoy higher-efficiency windows while lowering your energy bill.
Invest in New Windows to Make Your Home More Livable
There you have it, the ultimate list of signs telling you that your home deserves new windows. Now that you know when to replace windows (and when repair makes more sense), you can make a more informed choice. Especially since the cost to replace windows isn’t exactly cheap.
If you have the budget though and your windows are really old, replacement may be your best choice. This way, you can boost not just your home’s energy efficiency and comfort, but its overall livability too.
Looking for more guides like this that will help make your home comfier and cozier? Then be sure to head over to and bookmark the site’s Home Remodel and Repairs section!