| Faulty windows can account for a third of the total heat loss in winter and as much as 75 percent of interior heat gain in summer. Often, homeowners can create a quick fix by repairing loose or missing weather stripping, or replacing broken pains. When the window is old and no longer fits properly, there is little to do other than go shopping for new windows. Here are five warning signs that your windows are no longer working like they should. |
- When the lights go out. Stand inside your house on a windy day with a lit candle near the window's operative edge. If the flame flickers or goes out, your weather stripping might be damaged. Try first to repair the weather stripping. If that fixes the problem, you still have some time before needing replacement windows.
- Ice and high bills. During the winter, if a window develops ice buildup or a frosty glaze on the interior of the pane, the ventilation in your home may not be adequate. Another possibility is that your window may not be providing enough insulation value, a situation that can make your heating bills soar.
- Trapped shut. If you need to prop open your window with a book or a stick, the window may have lost its functionality. Chances are that replacement is necessary.
- Drafts, anyone? Sit near your window. If you feel cold air coming in during the winter or warm air during the summer, your windows have little insulation value. This means you're paying more to heat and cool your house to compensate for the exterior air entering your home. Apart from the weather stripping, your window may just have gotten too old to be effective, meaning replacement is necessary.
- Condensation. Do your windows get fogged with condensation? If so, you may have a seal failure and need to replace the glazing or the entire window.