You count on your windows to keep the cold and heat out of your house, so it can be frustrating if you suspect that they may not be doing their job. In this case, you need to check to see whether it is time to consider new windows. The following guide can help you make the decision so you can get replacement windows when the time is right.
Foggy double panes
If you have double- or triple-pane windows, there is an easy way to tell if you need new windows — condensation starts building up between the layers of glass. These windows are supposed to provide more insulation because of the gas trapped between the panes. Once the seal breaks between glass layers, though, the gas escapes and moisture gets in and fogs up the glass. The issue will also be that air from outside gets in, too, so you are no longer keeping the hot or cold out. Once the seal has broken, it is time to start considering new windows.
Rotten sills or frames
If you have wooden windows sills and frames, they also need to be in good condition to keep drafts out. Check the wood inside and out for damage. You can probe it gently with a screwdriver to see if any of the wood feels soft or rotten. Also, check for split wood, gaps in the frame, or even holes and cracks in the solid wood pieces. If the frames are in bad condition, you may need full replacement windows, such as vinyl windows that include both the frame and glass.
Checking for a draft is also a good idea. The easiest way to do this is to shut all windows tightly and then feel around the edges for air coming in. You can also turn off the HVAC system and fans, and then move a lit candle slowly around the perimeter of the window. If the candle flickers or goes out, you've likely discovered a draft and will need new windows.
Old windows can become warped, especially if they are on the side of the home exposed to the heat of the sun. This means they are not doing a very good job at keeping the heat out. Consider getting new windows in these locations that have a heat-reflecting film on the glass. This will solve the wavy glass issue and help keep the heat out of your home.
For more help, contact a residential window service contractor in your area.