Although many homeowners have the vague idea that it would be “nice” to replace their old windows “someday”, most do not realize that their worn or outdated windows are costing them money right now, day after day. For someone who is experiencing one or more of these issues, perhaps it is time to consider upgrading sooner, rather than later.
CAUSES: Poor-fitting “builder-grade” windows, broken glass, missing weather stripping, damaged hardware. This refers to what is coming around your closed windows and their parts. Ill-fitting, broken, or deteriorated windows will let drafts, dust, and water into your home. Each of these costs you money in different ways. If you feel an uncomfortable draft, you will adjust your thermostat, and pay unneeded heating and cooling costs. If your leaky windows let in dust, that excessive dust will shorten the life of your heating and cooling system, and increase the wear and tear on your carpets. Water infiltration can damage your interior window sills and sheetrock. Advanced examples of water rot can necessitate costly reframing. The bottom line is—if your windows are leaky enough to let in dust, drafts, or water, then they are definitely leaky enough to let your money out.
CAUSES: Inefficient conductive metal window frames, uninsulated glass, single pane construction. This refers to what is coming through your closed windows. Even if your windows are in perfect physical condition, outdated inefficient construction materials will allow the transference of heat and cold through the window glass or frame. Many times, customers complaining of feeling a “cold bubble” around their windows are referring to conduction. If you feel uncomfortably hot or cold in your home, you will adjust your thermostat, and pay unneeded heating and cooling costs.
CAUSES: Excessive heat loss or gain around window openings. This refers to the air circulation occurring within your home. As the air temperature that you pay for comes in contact with the air temperature coming in from outside, warm air is cooled, and falls, and cool air is warmed, and rises. The more the temperature outside the home is allowed inside, the faster this air cooling and warming will occur. The more this happens, the more often your thermostat will set off your system in an effort to regulate the temperature on the inside of your home, resulting in higher utility bills. This overwork will also shorten the life of your heating and cooling system. If you have a lot of infiltration or conduction, you will definitely have a lot of convection.
4. UV DAMAGE:
CAUSES: Clear glass that does nothing to retard damaging ultraviolet rays. This refers to the degradation and damage caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. UV rays can cause expensive blinds, curtains, drapes, and other window treatments to fade and become brittle. The same damage can also happen to upholstered furniture or carpets. Most people overlook this very costly issue.
5. MAINTENANCE COSTS:
CAUSES: Painted wooden window frames. Over time, the painted surfaces of older windows will require regular periodic repainting to maintain their cosmetic curb appeal and to protect the underlying wood. Because the correct procedure is time consuming—scraping, sanding, taping, priming, and application of first and second coats of paint—many people need to incur the expense of hiring a professional painting contractor.
When taken all together, all of these issues can seem overwhelming. The good news is that with advances in window technology, construction, and materials, windows that are available today eliminate or greatly reduce all of these issues.