Replacement windows are not a home improvement that needs to be done frequently, so how do you know when you should be considering it? We look at the 5 signs it’s time for replacement windows, this could save you money in the long term preventing problems such as damp, and saving you money on your heating bills. Replacing windows is not something that needs to be done frequently so it’s not something we pay that much attention too. Because well installed and maintained windows can last up to 20 years it’s difficult to know exactly when it’s the right time for replacement windows.
Knowing exactly when it’s time for replacement windows can be tricky if you don’t know what to look for. A large majority of homeowners tend to hold out for ‘just one more season’ simply because they didn’t know whether or not they needed new windows. Let’s look at the 5 signs it’s time for replacement windows.
1. Your home feels draughty or colder
One easy to spot sign it’s time for an upgrade is when you can feel draughts around the windows. As windows begin to fail they often become difficult to close which creates cold draughts. Obviously, heat escaping our homes via gaps in the windows is not ideal, we all want an energy-efficient home because this can save us money on our heating bills right?
Older windows can suffer from draughts because sealant starts to break down over time allowing wind to blow through the gaps and into the room, cracked sealant could also allow water ingress causing damp problems.
Rubber gaskets tend to shrink and crack as they get older, this can also allow wind and rain to drive into parts of the window that could cause other longer term issues.
Sometimes windows can become difficult to shut over the years, this may get worse over time. Sashes can warp or the gaskets between the opening sash and the window frame itself could fail allowing the elements a way of entering the room.
2. The window is hard to open and close
A window that is difficult to open or close is not only a nuisance it can also be a fire hazard. A lot of windows are a means of escape in the event of a fire, this isn’t something most homeowners want to think about, but they should. Nobody want’s to be in a position where they are fighting to open a window should they need to escape the home, if your windows are difficult to open or close they could also be a security issue if a window doesn’t close properly you are making a burglars life easy.
Difficulties opening or closing windows can be caused by hinges failing, poorly adjusted windows or warped frames. A professional installer can advise you if the window can be repaired or if you should replace it, however, if the window is old, replacing it is probably going to save you time and trouble in the long run.
3. Window won’t stay open or shut
Vertical sliders can fail for numerous reasons and refuse to stay open, again this can prove to be dangerous and the window should be repaired or replaced immediately. A lot of people will start to simply prop a window open, with a book or other household item. This is not only a security issue, it is also very dangerous for families with young children in the home. A vertical window that needs propping can easily injure small, inquisitive fingers.
If a window wont shut properly it is time for a new one. Do not make a theives life easy by giving them an easy means of entering your home, get it repaired or replaced.
4. Window won’t lock
It’s amazing just how many homes have windows that won’t lock, again this is a major security issue. Most opportunist thieves check windows as gaining a means of entry to your home if your window won’t lock then you are willingly putting the security of your home at risk. Windows that do not lock or shut properly are not only putting your possessions at risk of theft but it also lets your home’s heat escape, costing you money on heating bills. A broken lock doesn’t mean that you need to replace the whole window, repairing the lock is a cheaper option so it’s best to explore that option first. If repairing the lock doesn’t work then it’s time for replacement windows.
5. Condensation between glass panes
If you notice that your windows are misting up between the glass panes, it’s a sign that the seals have failed, allowing moisture to build up in between the glass panels. Once the seals fail, the Argon gas used for insulating and make the window energy-efficient escapes. Cracked glass also allows additional spots where air can seep in and out of your window. Cracked glass is dangerous and should be changed immediately.
The Importance of Replacing Failing Windows
If you have noticed your energy bills increasing every month, it’s likely that your windows are not performing as they should for one reason or another. Replacement windows can lower your heating costs, which will save you money each month.
Replacement windows will also make your home more secure for you and your family. Windows that operate as they are supposed too are also safer in the event of an emergency where they are required as a means of escape.
As well as being thermally efficient and secure, replacement windows can also add value to your home should you be considering selling in the near future.
How much are replacement windows?
New windows can start from as little as £300, it would depend on a number of factors to just how much a replacement window would cost:
- Size of the window required with fixed pane windows being the cheapest of all.
- The number of openers required, the more openers in a window the more expensive it would be.
- The glazing required, with acoustic glass and triple glazing costing more than standard double glazing.
- Coloured windows cost up to 20% more than a standard white uPVC window.
- The chosen material makes a difference to the price, uPVC is the least expensive with Aluminium and timber being more expensive.
Larger windows with more openings are going to be more expensive than smaller windows with less or no openers. Where possible try to use a local company that does not offer permanent sales prices. A small local company will often offer better value for money and a better aftercare service.
Always get three quotes & ask the right questions
Getting three seperate quotes will give you a better scope when choosing a company to carry out any home improvements on your home, but you must ask the right questions during your consultation:
- Who manufactures the doors, windows or conservatories?
- Who will be installing the windows, doors or conservatory?
- What guarantee do the products come with?
- How long will the installation take?
Replacement windows are an investment and should last a lifetime, choose a local company based on the quality of the products they offer, not just the price. The age old saying of ‘You get what you pay for’ is as true as ‘Buy cheap, buy twice‘. Choose your installation company wisely, do your homework and do not fixate on getting a bargain as that often leads to trouble.
uPVC replacement windows are almost maintenance-free, all that is required to keep your windows and doors looking brand new is a simple wipe with a soapy cloth. Modern replacement windows are also available in a variety of colors to match the style of your home. Enjoy the aesthetics of timber windows without the associated maintenance.