Friday April 22, 2022

Top 10 Signs It’s Time for Replacement Windows

by Joann Whetstine

Buying windows and patio doors is not an everyday experience. Until today, you may not have given any thought to the windows and patio doors in your home. Many homeowners don’t realize the excitement new windows can bring in helping their home feel brighter, cleaner and even beautifully designed.

Is it Time for a Change?

Everyone’s home situation is different and there are many reason that can spark the interest for replacement windows. Perhaps you just bought a home with the right floorplan and square footage, but, the windows are unsightly. Or, you’ve been living in your home for so long that you never really gave any thought to your windows regarding comfort, safety or aesthetics, but you’re recently experiencing some of the pain points we list here. If you’re considering new windows or patio doors in your home, don’t get started until you read these top 10 signs.


1. Feels Drafty

On average, 10 to 25 percent of a home’s heat escapes through its windows. If you feel the cold outside when you touch your windows or is there a draft when you stand nearby, compared to the rest of the house, it’s time to consider replacing your windows. High-quality windows and patio doors are designed for energy efficiency in your local climate to keep the weather outside where it belongs.


2. Very Old

If the windows in your home are 20 to 30 years old, they may be original to the house when it was built and it’s likely they are made with single pane glass. If they are dual pane they may not be energy efficient as the ENERGY STAR® labeling program did not begin until 1992. Older windows without proper glazing may not be keeping the UV rays out of your home, which can cause fading on carpets, draperies and furniture. Newer windows that use Low E glass help the temperature in your home remain more consistent year round and are better protected to resist color fading.


3. Won't Open

There are many reasons a window may not open. Older aluminum windows can be a culprit based on swelling during temperature changes or springs in the handle becoming inoperable as you squeeze them to release the locking mechanism. With older wood windows, years of painted frames can result in a window that will not open. If your windows stick or seem glued shut and won’t open at all, it’s time to consider replacing them.


4. Too Hot

When your windows are closed in the summer months, do you notice that your home seems like an oven? Older windows lack the proper insulation or ENERGY STAR® ratings that help keep heat out when the sun beats down on them. states that ENERGY STAR certified windows and patio doors can reduce energy bills by an average of 12%, nationwide*. ENERGY STAR windows doors are independently certified and verified to perform at levels that meet or exceed energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. EPA. 

In addition to energy efficiency new windows offer, you may want to increase the air flow in your home by replacing a picture window that only allows you to enjoy the view with a window style that opens. Casement, awning, horizontal sliders, and single or double hung windows all offer different degrees of ventilation. Learn more about window style options.


5. Outside Noise

If you are hearing outside noise when your windows are closed, chances are they aren’t providing enough acoustic insulation. Sound Transmission Class, often referred to as STC, is used as a measure of a window’s ability to reduce sound. Generally, the higher the STC rating, the better sound control you can expect from a window and presumably the quieter the home. The typical STC rating of a single pane window is between 18-20. By comparison, a typical double glazed window has an STC rating between 28-32. Many homeowners notice how quiet their home is once they install replacement windows.


6. Visible Damage

This is probably one of the easiest signals that it’s time to consider new windows. Telltale signs can include chipping or deterioration of the frame or glass; visible water stains on or around the window; a frame that is warped or broken; and even broken glass itself. Depending on the severity, window damage may not be something you can live with for very long because it could affect the comfort of your home from a heating or cooling perspective.


7. Aesthetics

Your home should be a reflection of your style both inside and out and windows are one of the most prominent features in a house. Choosing your own replacement windows provides the opportunity to create exactly the look you want from frame thickness, to colors and even decorative grids. 

Windows with grids


8. How it Operates

Ever wish your view was not interrupted with a line down the middle where it opens, or, do you have a picture window that does not open and you really want more air flow in your home? If you are considering upgrading your home’s appearance, you might also wish to change the way your window functions. Let in more light, enhance your view or encourage a cross breeze from one room to another. There are many possibilities when you think about what your windows and patio doors can do to improve your comfort. Remodeling? If you have the luxury of home renovation in your budget, and you are considering remolding the walls, now is the time to consider installing larger windows to increase a room’s natural light, improve airflow or even replace a window with a patio door to embrace indoor outdoor living.

Glass wall patio doors


9. Hard to Clean

Cleaning windows may not be at the top of your list of things to do, but, it should be done at least once a year. Older windows may be difficult to clean if they do not easily lift out of the tracks. Newer replacement windows are much easier to maintain as they are designed to be removed more easily. For second floor rooms, consider a double-hung operating style where the sash can actually tilt inward making exterior cleaning a breeze.

Double Hung Window Tilts for Easy Cleaning


10. ROI

Every year, Remodeling Magazine conducts an annual survey of cost versus value on home improvements. The 2021 study reported that replacement windows in upscale homes have a 76.5% return on investment in the Pacific Region. That’s great news if you think you may sell your home in the next 5 years. Plus, buyers will be attracted to the increased curb appeal new windows can bring and they may even notice the comfort benefits of reduced noise and temperature regulation as walk through the home to decide if it’s fit. Home buyers are noticing these details as they shop around, so, you may want to consider how your home can compete in the marketplace.

If you are ready to get started, visit the Learn section of for more details, ideas, photos, and reviews from happy customers.




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Leave a comment


insulated windows

I appreciate it when you said that the reason why the house feels like an oven during the hot summer months is because of the idea that the windows are not properly insulated. That is not really much of a surprise considering that the vinyl windows are more than two decades old. It's probably good to have it replaced, but since my mom loves the vinyl material so much, we should replace them with other ones like it.

Important to replace older windows

I'm glad that you explain how it's important to replace older windows since they might not be energy efficient or be able to keep UV rays out of your home. When choosing a replacement window, you'd probably want to research the different materials in order to find one that has these benefits. You might also want to research the different brands and models to find one that is the right material and fits the size you need for the space that's available for the frame.

Noise reducing windows

Thanks for letting me know that hearing a lot of outside noise even when your windows are closed can mean that you need replacements. My husband and I live on a fairly busy street, and the sound coming from all the traffic has recently been making it hard to sleep. I don't think it used to be this loud, so maybe we need to have our bedroom windows replaced with ones that have more insulation to keep the noise out.

Old foundation = crooked windows

The foundation on my house has settled somewhat, which means that my window frame has shifted as well and my window doesn't fit right anymore. I'm considering getting it replaced, and it's true that it would be nice to have a window that actually opens and closes again, and the glass is too old to let light in properly. Having a cleaner, more polished look would also really help my property value, so I think it's a good investment to have my windows replaced at this point.

Double Hung Windows

It is surprising to read that I should consider getting a double hung operating style when choosing new windows. It makes sense that it would be easier to clean. I will consider getting a double operating style when I decide what window replacement company to go to.

Replace your window as soon as possible

The article makes a very good point about the glass or frame starting to chip and deteriorate. That is easily one of the biggest signs that you will need to replace your window as soon as possible. By replacing the window quickly you can help ensure the safety of your home.

If your windows are hard to clean

That's a good point that you may need window replacements if your windows are hard to clean because it's hard to remove them. That is what we are experiencing, and I just get so frustrated with it, so I'd rather get our windows replaced than try to keep cleaning the old ones. It would be so nice to not have to struggle to get them removed to be able to clean them.

Size and material

Thanks for the advice on when to get a window replacement, such as if it isn't reducing outdoor noises and if there are visible signs of damage, such as chipping or stains. Once you've decided you need a new one, it might be a good idea to make sure you know what you require, such as what size and material. Knowing this could help you find a contractor that offers the services you want, such as vinyl window replacement, so that it can be installed correctly and work properly.

window replacement

Thanks for letting me know that visible damage is a sign you need to replace a window. My living room window has some chipping on the frame. Maybe it would be best to have a professional come and replace it.

Great Advice!

My husband and I want to remodel our home, and your article had some great points about why we should consider replacing our windows during this project. I liked how you said since we feel too hot in our home during the summer, we might need better insulated windows that reduce energy bills by an average of 12%. Thanks we'll keep this mind.


Discover just how affordable Milgard Windows & Doors can be.

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