Homeowners don’t always realize that they should consider a window replacement. That’s because the signs that a home’s windows need to be replaced are not always obvious, and as a result, inefficient or malfunctioning windows can drain a home’s energy and heating bills without the homeowner noticing.

Not sure if your windows are drafty? Wondering if your windows should be repaired or replaced? Here are four tell-tale signs that your home needs replacement windows.

  1. You Have Trouble Opening Them

A window should open smoothly and close just as easily. If you’re struggling to open them, or if you decide not to open them because you don’t want to wrangle with them to get them closed again, it’s time to get new windows. The closing and opening mechanism could be broken, the window could be warped out of shape, or the track that the window sits in could be broken. Either way, what’s the point of a window you can’t open?

  1. You Feel or See a Draft

As we approach winter and the weather gets colder, you’re more likely to notice a draft from your windows. You may not think a small draft is a big problem, but it could cost you a lot on your energy bill. By the time you can feel a draft your windows’ seal has been broken for some time, and it’s only going to get worse.

If you’re not sure that the draft is coming from the window itself, there’s a simple way to check. Turn off any fans in the area as well as your central heating. Then, light a candle and hold it near the window. If it’s flickering, air is still moving around the window. In fact, this method can help you determine which of your windows is the culprit of a strong draft.

  1. You See Scratches, Fog, or Streaks

Ever tried to clean your windows, but found that no matter how much glass cleaner you spray on, it never clears up? Do you find that “streak-free” cleaners your friends swear by just don’t work on your windows? The most likely cause of a persistent foggy or streaky window is a broken seal.

Windows panes are actually made out of two sheets of glass, with gas between them. The gas is usually krypton, or argon, which helps the window insulate your home. When the seal breaks the gas is released, and moisture can get trapped inside. Not only are the windows no longer insulating your home, but your view is obscured by the moisture.

A streaky looking window may have also suffered scratches, either from hail or debris on the outside or from being accidentally bumped into on the inside. If the scratch doesn’t bother you, it probably won’t affect the function of the window, so long as the seal hasn’t broken. But if it’s a deep scratch, you could be losing conditioned air.

  1. They’re Wet, Rusted, or Stained

A window’s seal can break around the sill or the frame too. If this has happened, the glass will look normal, but the sealant around the window many look chipped or dried out. Water may get in through a broken seal, to wet the window or the wall beneath it. Over time, the window frame will get rusted or develop water stains.

Experiencing any of these signs? If you’re ready to get a window replacement, reach out to us at Custom Window Designs. Not only will your new window be functional, but it’ll look great too.