If you live in an older home and the windows are at least 15 to 30 years old, you should be thinking about replacing them.
Common reasons to replace older windows:
- Poor window energy efficiency
- Windows are unattractive — faded, worn or appear outdated
- Windows are bowed, sagging or bent, creating pockets of air infiltration
- Windows leak during rainfall
- Windows accumulate condensation or frost between panes
According to a 2007 study published by the National Association of Home Builders, aluminum windows are expected to last between 15 and 20 years, while wooden windows should last upward of 30 years. Since they’re considered more durable than wood or metal windows, vinyl and fiberglass windows may last even longer. If your home’s windows are 15 to 30 years old or more, you may be experiencing some of the conditions noted above.
By updating old windows, homeowners can save as much as 70 percent on their heating and cooling bills throughout the year. Watch this video to learn more:
Improving your home’s energy efficiency is a good reason to install new windows. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heat loss from inefficient windows can account for 10 to 25 percent of your home’s heating bills.
If your home’s heating or cooling bills are too high and increase every year, installing new windows can improve efficiency. Replacing single-pane windows with energy-efficient windows will dramaticaly lower heating and cooling bills.
Smaller steps can be taken to mitigate energy loss from inefficient windows such as repairing ill-fitting sashes and frames, filling voids or holes with spray foam or caulk, and installing plastic wrap during colder months.
New windows are easier to clean. Features like tilt-out sashes in double-hung windows can make routine window cleaning more convenient.
Cost vs. value of new windows
Replacing your home's windows to improve its overall resale value is an investment to consider carefully. For the average-sized U.S. home, installing an entire set of brand-new windows can easily cost more than $10,000. Homeowners can expect to recoup about 60 percent of that investment in terms of improving their home’s overall resale value.
Historical or homeowners association considerations
Is your home in a historic district or subject to homeowners association covenants? If you live in a historic district that restricts or prohibits changes or alterations to a home’s exterior, you may be bound by covenants that prevent you from installing new windows.
Since a new window installation will alter the aesthetic of your home’s exterior, HOAs may have regulatory control of installing new windows. While an HOA’s policies or bylaws might not strictly prohibit window replacement, it may limit your choices of window styles, colors or patterns.
If you’re restricted from changing your windows, window companies and contractors can restore older windows to look brand new and cost less than window replacements. If your home has historic windows, hire a window restoration specialist to improve and preserve them.