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. Energystar.gov 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 milgard.com for more details, ideas, photos, and reviews from happy customers.