Old, worn-out windows can be an eyesore. They can also be expensive. Older windows often lead to energy loss and higher heating and cooling bills. Knowing when to replace can save you money.
Window Glass Issues
The pane system in your window is the cause of many glass problems. Single-pane windows are uninsulated, which can lead to energy loss and temperature discomfort in your own home. Multi-pane windows provide insulation, unless the seal on the panes fails. Once this happens, most insulation qualities are lost and you will have to deal with condensation and water spots inside the window.
Age can also be an issue. Older windows are more likely to develop a wavy look, which distorts everything when you look through them. Some older-style coated windows may become hazy or yellow-ish as they age. Another issue is etching, which typically affects windows exposed to wind or those that have been cleaned with abrasives in the past.
Finally, damage to the glass and its frame can be a sign that it's time to replace. Cracks and chips are obvious damage. Failed seals and glazing between the glass and frame are another type of damage. In some cases, the issue is with rotted wood frames or warped and rusted metal frames.
You have three things to decide when replacing the windows — pane number, frame type, and operation style. As a general rule, the more panes, the better the window insulates. So a triple pane window insulates better than a double pane window.
For frames, you have the option of wood, aluminum, or vinyl. Wood can be easily painted to any desired color, but it will need periodic painting and sealing so it doesn't warp or rot. Aluminum is durable and takes paint readily, but it can be dented easily. Vinyl is available in limited colors, but it is durable and affordable.
Your final decision is operation style. Single-hung windows are split in two with one side sliding open, while double-hung can be open from either side. There are side sliders as well as top and bottom sliders. Casement windows swing open. They may swing upward or downwards or from the side. There are also split versions that swing open like shutters. Casement windows may be operated manually by pushing, or they may have a handle that you turn to open them.
Contact a window installation service if you think it is time to replace the windows on your home.