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Do you know how old your windows are? Most homeowners don’t, and you wouldn’t have any way of knowing unless the seller told you, or you installed them yourself. But old windows are drafty and inefficient; more than that, they can be dangerous.

How can you tell when it’s time to say goodbye to your old windows and install new, energy-efficient replacements? Some homeowners replace windows to restore an older home to its former glory, or because they don’t like the look of the older windows they’re replacing. Still, others buy new windows to lower their energy costs, or to replace damaged windows. Here are some signs it’s time to install replacement windows on your home.


Your Home Is Drafty During the Winter and Sweltering During the Summer

Older windows can make it hard to control the climate in your home. Older, single-pane windows let out more heat than newer, double-pane windows, especially if they aren’t fitted with properly functioning storm windows. Older windows are also more likely to leak, although that’s a problem that can sometimes be remedied with caulk.

However, the glass in your older windows may not be low-emissivity, or low-e. Low-e windows have a reflective coating that blocks heat from entering your home. If your home starts to feel oven-like in the summer months, then replacing your windows can help lower your cooling costs and keep your home more comfortable. That’s especially important in areas like the Southwest, where homes must be built to withstand high desert temperatures. Window replacement with low-e, double-pane windows in a city like Phoenix, for example, will help keep your home comfortable and your cooling costs down.


Your Old Windows Are Cracked or Broken

Sometimes, broken windows can be repaired. If you just need some new hardware or some new weather stripping, that’s one thing. But a broken pane or a damaged or warped frame usually requires replacement. You could repair the window, but it may not function properly, and then you’ll still need to replace it anyway.

Your Old Windows Won’t Open

Windows that won’t open present a safety hazard – what if there’s a fire, and the only way to get out of your home is through that window? Whether it’s painted shut, the frame is warped, or something else is going on, a window that won’t open needs to be replaced. The same is true of a window that won’t stay open on its own, or a window that sticks when you try to operate it.


You Want to Refresh the Look of Your Home

Whether you simply want to give your home a makeover or you’re restoring a historic home, replacement windows are an excellent choice. New windows refresh the exterior appearance of your home, and you can have them custom-made for historic accuracy if that’s what you need. Choosing new windows gives you a chance to make your home look exactly the way you want it to.

You Live in a Coastal Area

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, you probably already understand the benefits of keeping your windows up-to-date. Even if you haven’t suffered severe storm damage recently, you might still want to replace your old windows with newer, high-impact, corrosion-resistant windows made to withstand temperature extremes, salt air, humidity, and coastal winds.


You Want to Lower Your Energy Costs

If your home has single-pane windows, you can save up to $465 a year by replacing them with double-panes. While it might be many years before your new windows pay for themselves, new windows can be attractive to buyers if you plan to sell your home soon. You can get back about 73 percent of the cost of new windows when you sell, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Is it time to install replacement windows? New windows can overhaul the look of your home, lower your energy costs, and make your windows safer and easier to maintain. While new windows come at a price, it’s worth it for the increased property value, lower energy costs, and greater comfort you’ll enjoy afterward. Don’t keep suffering from older windows that stick, heat up the house, or won’t open at all – replace your old windows now.