Homeowner caulking his new windows

When Should I Replace My Home’s Windows?

Updated March 25, 2019 . AmFam Team

Your windows play a major role in keeping your home warm, safe and dry — so why wouldn’t you pay extra special attention to them? Here’s how you can keep yours in good condition and know when they need to be replaced.

When it comes to making home improvements, it’s fun to think about remodeling your kitchen, refreshing the paint job and investing in new furniture. But before you get started on the more exciting renovations, it’s important to take a look at your home’s essentials. Your windows play a big role in keeping your home warm, cozy and safe from the elements, so it’s important to keep them up to date.

Should I Replace or Repair My Windows Now?

Outside of a major crack or break, do you know when your windows would need to be replaced? Regardless of their age, here are some common reasons you should take action and repair or replace your windows:

They’re damaged. It sounds obvious, but some window damage is tough to see with the naked eye. Examine each window closely — if they need new weather stripping or hardware, you’re probably in the clear. But if they’re cracked, have warped framing or become hard to open and close, you may want to consider giving your home a window makeover.

They’re drafty. This is easiest to notice in the wintertime, so pay close attention once cold weather strikes. Feel a constant breeze or chill around the edges of your rooms? Your windows may be the culprit — and that means it’s time to replace them.

When you replace your windows and stop that pesky cold air from sneaking in, you’ll save money on your energy bill and help prevent other wintertime nuisances like frozen pipes, too.

Condensation is creeping in. Your windows’ seals work to keep air and moisture out. But over time, they can weaken and eventually break. Notice any moisture on the inner glass or frost on the interior of the window? Call a professional to get your windows fixed as soon as possible. That moisture is more than just an indicator of a faulty window — it can lead to rot, mold, mildew and other things detrimental to your home’s structure.

You’re noticing more noise. If you live near a popular park or busy road, the noise from the outside can seep into your home and ruin your peaceful nights. But new windows might be able to help! Consider special noise-canceling models or think about applying newer seals and insulation. A little care can make all the difference.

You’re remodeling. If you’re making big changes to your home, it’s a good idea to add new windows while you’re at it. Even if yours are still functional, odds are the resale value of your home will go up if the windows work or look better with the style of your renovations. It pays to keep things up-to-date!

Sun is a factor. If one side of your home gets a lot more sun than the other, those windows may wear out faster. Plus, any furniture or wood that gets lots of sunlight might be worn down, too. Replace the windows that feel that heat and consider applying UV-blocking film on those windows. It’ll keep the sun from doing damage to your windows and your belongings.

Maintaining the Windows in Your House

Whether you’ve just replaced your windows or still have the windows that the home came with when you bought it, it’s important to keep them in good shape to keep your family comfortable and safe — and your bank account full. Here are some ways you can maintain your windows:

Clean your windows regularly. Using a damp rag, and/or window cleaner, wipe down your windows regularly and remove dust, grime and any streaks left from previous cleanings. Remember to wipe them down with a dry rag, as that residual moisture, no matter how small, can do damage over time.

Check the seals. Putting your hand near the seals on your windows when you check them can help you identify any outside air making its way in. When you do notice air leaking in, make a fix as soon as possible to keep your window and its frame healthy and to keep your energy bill down.

Have them professionally inspected. You don’t need to do it every year, but having a professional come in and take a look at your windows can help you fix problems that you might not have been able to find the source of.

Install storm windows. Having a pro install storm windows is a great way to keep dirt, moisture and other debris out of your windows in the first place. Some storm windows can even insulate your home from exterior noise, too.

The better you take care of your home’s current windows, the less you’ll have to worry about expensive professional installation or tricky do-it-yourself work later on. Your American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab) can help you protect your home even further with the right homeowners insurance policy, too. Get in touch with them today to see how a customized policy can give you the peace of mind you deserve.

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