Your windows add light and beauty to your home, but they also can let in unwelcome visitors and increase your utility bills if they’re not in good condition. If you’re not a replacement window professional, you may think you don’t have the knowledge to estimate the condition of your windows. Luckily, there are a few simple things to look out for to help you identify when you need to replace your windows. Why should you replace your windows? You might think that as long as your windows aren’t broken, you don’t need to replace them. However, windows are an essential part of your home’s health & wellbeing and should be appropriately taken care of. On the surface, windows make your home beautiful and let in a lot of natural light. Well-designed and well-installed windows can increase your home’s curb appeal and resale value. But windows do much more than this. Durable windows will be a good defense against burglars and bugs, but weak ones won’t stand up to these tests. Plus, your windows are an integral part of your home’s energy-efficiency. If they are loose or weak, they could let in warm air in the summer and cold air in the winter, making your utility bills sky-high. 5 Signs You Need to Replace Your Windows 1. Your Energy Bills Are Too High Old windows are not a very good barrier against the outside weather. If your windows don’t keep your home insulated, your heating and cooling system will have to work much harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, resulting in higher energy bills. It could even cause you to have to replace your HVAC system much earlier than you usually would. All this means that investing in your windows can save you a lot of money in the long run. You can test your windows for insulation in two ways. On the next chilly day, stand near your windows and see if the area is cooler than the rest of your house. If so, your windows aren’t insulating your home well. Next, hold a candle near your window frame, moving up and down the frame. Does it flicker? If it does, your windows are drafty. Old windows have fewer panes of glass to help them be energy-efficient. New ones won’t have any gaps or leaks. Current technology features strong, weatherproof glass to help bring your energy bills down. 2. Your Windows Are Hard to Open and Close Does it take some elbow grease to open and close the windows in your home? They might be swollen with moisture and age. Depending on the age of the home, they may have even been painted shut! This is especially likely if you have old wooden windows. If you can’t easily open and shut your windows, it’s time to think about replacing them. 3. Your Window Frames Have Seen Better Days If you have old windows, they are most likely made out of wood. Wooden windows are susceptible to decay when exposed to too much moisture. Over time, this water damage can seriously compromise the quality and strength of your windows. If they become too rotted, they will threaten your home’s security. If you notice any leaks near your windows, you need to replace them as soon as possible. Water damage can cost thousands of dollars to fix! Plus, moisture encourages mold and mildew growth — something you definitely don’t want in your home. Vinyl windows are an excellent choice for replacement windows. They do not degrade and are weather-resistant, guaranteeing years of great performance. Furthermore, they are inexpensive and can be custom fit to your window openings. 4. You Can Hear Everything If you can hear everything going on outside your windows, it might be time to replace them. Do you hear cars driving by or people chatting on the street? Your home should be a refuge, a place to escape from the world. If you can always hear your neighbors arguing on their porch through your old windows, you can kiss peace goodbye. New energy-efficient windows will block these noises from entering your home. 5. You Have Foggy Windows If your windows get foggy or collect condensation, it could be a sign that it’s time for new windows. Though not all condensation is a bad sign, it can indicate a problem. If you can see condensation or fog between the panes of glass, your window’s seals are not functioning properly. If your seals are broken or damaged, you might have leaky windows on your hands. Though replacing old windows can be an investment, it’s crucial to the overall function of your home’s heating and cooling system. Your windows, doors, insulation, ventilation, siding, and HVAC system all work together to keep your home energy-efficient. Plus, new windows will save you money in the long run by lowering your energy bills and improving your home’s resale value. If you believe you may need new windows, call Northeast Home & Energy today for a free consultation.