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Is it time to replace your windows?

Windows play a key role in the comfort of your home. In the winter they can be closed to keep out the cold. In the summer, they allow you to circulate fresh air around each room. However, like most things, windows will deteriorate over time. When this happens, you may want to consider either fixing or replacing them. It’s important to monitor the condition of your windows, so you can act quickly if needed. Here are a few things to look out for.

Difficulty opening or closing the window

Over time you may find that it becomes difficult to open or close your windows. When conditions are damp or the air is very humid, wooden window frames can swell. This will be easiest to spot when the panes overlap, such as in ‘double-hung’ windows. You may find that this occurs during summer, when the air is warm and damp. In winter, the problem may go away all together. If this is the case, then you shouldn’t need to replace your windows. Instead, sand the wood down slightly, to create more space for the summer months. Do this a little at a time, to avoid sanding too much. It’s important not to create too much space, or you may run into other problems, such as leaks.

Condensation forming on the glass

Moisture droplets appearing on windowpanes is a very common problem. Condensation can mean different things, depending on where it forms. For example, if you have double-glazed windows, you may have seen condensation in between the panes of glass. This is a sign that the seals on your panes may have deteriorated. If so, it should be a simple case of replacing the seals. Once you have new ones in place, the condensation should disappear.

If the condensation is forming on the inside of the windows, you may have a larger problem. This can be a sign that moisture is passing between the windowpanes. When this happens, the window can no longer effectively insulate your home. If you think this may have happened to your windows, ask a professional to take a look. It may be necessary to replace your windows. However, it’s wise to seek professional advice before making a decision.

Draughts coming into the home

Draughty windows can be a real nuisance. They can lower the temperature of your home, resulting in unnecessarily high energy bills. It’s often easy to spot a draughty window, as you’ll feel the cold air coming in. If you need any tips on checking your windows for draughts, check out our article here. Sometimes draughts are a sign that your window seals are deteriorating. If so, you should be able to replace the seals, without replacing the window. If the draught is coming from a hole in the window frame, fixing it could be a larger job. The first step is to identify the problem. Once you’ve located the damage, you can then take steps to fix or replace the parts, as needed.

Stephanie Vanderbilt, writing for Next Step Living, states: ” Is there a noticeable temperature drop when you sit near your windows when it’s colder outside? If your home is warm, but you’re feeling pretty cold when you sit next to your windows, it’s likely that  your window isn’t properly insulated. That means energy is being lost through your windows.”

[Photo by stux]