How often should you replace your windows? In general, well-maintained high-quality residential windows should last 15 to 20 years. If they’re almost 20-years-old, you should start planning a window replacement.
Of course, not all windows last as long as their estimated lifespans. Factors such as the window frame material, the frequency of maintenance, and your area’s climate can shorten their lifespan.
How can you tell if it’s time to get a window replacement? In this post, our window contractors at Renewal by Andersen® of Knoxville list the warning signs you need to keep an eye out for.
Warning Signs of Window Damage
The warning signs you need to keep an eye out for are:
- Drafts – If you notice some parts of your home are colder or hotter than other rooms, check your windows—drafts coming from leaky windows might be to blame. Here’s a tip on inspecting drafty windows: Shut all windows, doors, vents and other openings and light an incense stick near a window. Smoke should float toward the source of the draft.
Foggy glass – Dual-pane windows with wide glass areas such as casement and double-hung windows are usually insulated to prevent heat from entering your home through the glass panes. Manufacturers insulate them by filling the space between their glass panes with argon, a colorless and nontoxic gas that prevents heat transfer. However, if the window sealing is punctured, argon leaks out and moisture enters the space between glass panes, fogging up the insides of the window glass.
It’s important that you replace windows that have condensation between their glass panes as soon as possible. Since argon has been leaking out, they have lower energy-efficiency. The longer you wait to get a window replacement, the higher your potential energy costs. According to the Department of Energy, heat gained or lost through windows account for 25%–30% of residential heating and cooling energy use. Windows’ contribution to your household’s total energy consumption is expected to be higher if their window sealing is damaged.
- Hard-to-open windows – Casement windows are one of the most popular types of windows because of their ease of use. However, over time, their opening mechanisms become harder to open and in some cases cause the windows to become unbalanced.
- Lower indoor comfort and energy bills – Overt time, heat loss and heat gain from drafty or leaky windows can significantly lower indoor comfort and increase your electricity bills.
Factors That Can Prematurely Age and Damage Windows
Aside from the warning signs, it’s also important that you know the factors that can age your window. Knowing the most common causes of window damage can help you choose a window replacement that’s suited to your area’s climate.
The usual culprits behind window damage are:
- Extreme temperatures – Tennesee experiences cool but not cold winters and warm summers, but you shouldn’t get too complacent about the potential damage abrupt changes in temperatures can cause. In general, homes in temperate climates should install windows that can withstand extreme temperatures. If you’re looking for a durable window replacement, you may want to consider installing Fibrex® windows. Fibrex is an exclusive composite made from reclaimed wood fibers and thermoplastic polymer that can retain its stability and rigidity in all kinds of climates. Plus, Fibrex window frames can support glass panes as wide as the ones found on a conventional window despite being narrower, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of window styles such as casement and double-hung windows.
- Rot – This is an issue restricted to wooden windows. Wooden windows are known for their classic aesthetic, but to preserve their aesthetic appeal, they require quite a bit of upkeep. If you’re looking for an alternative to wood, Fibrex resists rot, decay and fungal growth.
- Installation errors – Make sure to vet a prospective contractor before hiring them to install your new windows.
Want to learn more about our Fibrex windows?
Renewal by Andersen of Knoxville offers a wide variety of premium windows, including double-hung and casement windows. To schedule a free consultation with one of our design experts, call us at (865) 221-7970 or fill out this form. We serve homeowners in Knoxville, Tennessee, as well as the other TN communities.