New windows do more than upgrade the appearance of your home, they can also make your home more secure and increase the energy efficiency of your heating and cooling system. The following can help you decide if the time has come to replace the glass in your home.
Sign #1: Cracks
Broken glass is a sure sign that its time to replace your windows. This is even true if you have multi-pane windows and only one pane has broken. This is because a single crack allows the insulating gas to escape from between the panes of glass, making the windows less energy efficient. It also allows moisture in between the panes, which can result in condensation build up and poor visibility through the window.
Sign #2: Gaps
Gaps between the window glass and the frame may indicate that it's time to consider a replacement. In some cases you can remove the old caulk and run a fresh bead of caulk around the glass to resecure it to the frame. This may not work out if the broken seal is around a double-pane window, though, since this indicates that the window may have lost its insulative quality. It also may not be an option on old wood window frames, since the gaps could be due to the wood becoming warped.
Sign #3: Poor Operation
Sometimes the frames of the windows begin to break down. If it has become difficult to open or close your windows, chances are the frames have suffered damage or become warped over time. The result is a poorly functioning window. This can make it difficult to properly close and secure your windows against intruders. It can also lead to eventual broken glass as you struggle to operate the window.
Sign #4: Age
Windows age, and it can be ugly for your heating and cooling bill when they do. Wood frames begin to rot, glass loses its seal, and even the integrity of durable aluminum and vinyl windows can become compromised. If you notice drafts around a window or if your energy usage has been slowly going up, your windows could be the cause. Another sign to look for is rotten wood. If you have wooden frames, poke them gently with a screwdriver. If the wood feels soft, the frames are beginning to rot and they need to be replaced. Consider getting energy efficient glass replacement windows to rectify the problem.