Typically, well maintained and good quality windows should last for up to 20 years. However, like most things in your home, windows can eventually become less efficient and will need to be replaced. They may be letting cold air in, leaking moisture into your home or simply not doing their job anymore due to general wear and tear.
Good quality windows will help keep your home both warm and quiet while also reducing your energy bills. The type of windows that you have in your home can massively affect how long they last. While uPVC windows are known for their durability and strength, wooden windows are known to warp, expand and contract over time.
The last thing you want in your home is condensation or draughts due to faulty windows, particularly in the colder months. Without realising, your energy bills may be far higher from struggling to heat up a draughty home.
Below we take a look at the five most common signs that it is time to upgrade your windows.
Draughts and cold air is coming in
If you feel cold air or a draught coming from your window, this is a big sign that they need replacing. There are several reasons why your windows may be letting in a draught. Below are three common reasons:
- Broken hinges.
A very common reason a draught may be coming in through windows is damaged or broken hinges which can be down to general wear and tear. Rust and dirt can form and get into hinges which will stop them from opening and closing normally. Because of this, hinges can go out of alignment and stop the sash (the opening section of the window) from shutting against the seal properly, leaving small gaps for air to escape from. This issue can be fixed by replacing the hinges of your windows.
- Window seal failure.
You may be experiencing draughty windows because the seal of your window pane has broken. When the seal breaks, the argon gas between the glass of your window escapes meaning that your window is no longer acting as an insulator. Seals can be broken by various things: age, extreme weather, movement (they may have broken during transportation) or mould.
- Old windows or window styles.
Sometimes, old windows simply stop doing their job. A lot of old windows have a single pane, making them far less effective than double or triple glazed windows. With a single pane window, there is only one piece of glass between your home and outside. If your windows are old or only have a single pane, upgrading your windows should stop the draught.
Similarly, if you notice sounds from outside coming into your home through your windows then it is time for an upgrade. Windows do not only act as barriers against cold air, but against outside sounds such as traffic, roadworks and people too. Noises invade your home exactly the same way as cold air does: through cracks, holes and general damage.
Your windows are racking up your energy bills
Following on from above, if your windows are letting in cold air and draughts then your energy bills may be higher than usual as your heating system is working harder to warm up your home. In colder months we need our windows to be as efficient as possible in order to keep our homes heated and warm. Draughty windows will allow lots of heat to escape, so investing in some new ones should help to keep your energy bills down. If you notice cold air coming in from your windows and high energy bills then it is time to upgrade
to some new energy efficient ones.
There is visible damage: cracked and leaky house windows
Living in the UK, your windows are likely to endure a lot of rain and cold weather and consequently, they are susceptible to wear and tear.
If you notice that your windows are leaking then it is time for an urgent upgrade. Leaky windows can easily lead to bigger problems, causing damage to your home. Water and moisture from leaky windows can cause mould and damp on walls and around the window which can result in unpleasant smells, various health issues and unattractive patches of black, brown or green on your walls.
Similarly, damp and mould can be caused by cracked, rotting and decaying windows. When windows are cracked they let moisture, water and cold air in which can then cause damage to other areas of your home. If you notice any leaks or cracks, it is certainly time to get some new windows installed.
It’s time for new windows if you notice warping
Warping can be a big problem, typically occurring in wooden-framed windows that are getting old. Warped windows occur when the wooden frames are exposed to a lot of water. This water absorbs into the wood, causing it to swell up, resulting in a warping effect that can let cold air in and completely reduce your home’s energy efficiency.
Warped windows can also be a result of extreme changes in temperature which can cause the wood in your windows to expand and contract. In the UK, 2018 saw both snow and hot temperatures over the course of just a few months. These extreme changes in weather can have a damaging effect on our windows. Intense changes in temperature can cause windows to warp, fade, crack and chip.
If you notice that your windows are warping, it is time for some new windows. When you upgrade, choose other materials (such as vinyl, aluminium or fiberglass) instead of wood for your windows.
You have noticed condensation
Double glazing should reduce the amount of condensation in your home, so if you are noticing condensation around your windows then it may be time for a replacement. Condensation happens when water vapour comes into contact with a cold surface (the glass of a window, for example). This water vapour is a product of lots of different things: washing up, cooking, doing laundry, and even just breathing. Condensation can cause damage to your home’s wallpapers, curtains, window fittings and paintwork so you want to make sure that you have high quality windows to prevent this damage.
If you are noticing condensation on the inside of your window pane then this is a sign that the glass in your window is at a temperature that is too low for the amount of water vapour in the room. Double glazing acts as an insulator, causing the surface temperature of the window glass in the room to be a higher temperature than it would be with single glazing and therefore reducing condensation.
If you notice condensation inside the cavity of your window then this is an indication that there is an issue with the seal. In a watertight and airtight sealed unit, there should never be condensation in between the two window panes. Condensation in this part of your window is a sign that moisture has got into the tight air space or that moisture is leaking into the window cavity from the room.
The Window Centre: specialist and expert installers of double and triple glazing in Harrow and Pinner
Here at The Window Centre we know how important it is to have high quality, energy efficient windows in your home. We have been Harrow and Pinner’s local double glazing installers since 1993, providing a reliable and excellent service to ensure that you never feel a draught. Our friendly and specialist team of experts have carried out over 16,000 installations to date, with each product we install having been tested and researched thoroughly to make sure that it meets the highest standards.
Our friendly family owned company fit uPVC and aluminium windows and are always happy to help and guide you in the process of choosing the perfect oriel, bay, casement or sliding windows for your property. If you have noticed any of the above signs, then it is time for a replacement. To find out more, visit our showroom in Harrow or simply contact us today.