How to evaluate your old windows and see if they are up for replacement
It’s essential to learn your options to buy replacement windows, the cost, and to judge whether it is a good idea to repair or not.
New windows offer so much and are always tempting. They have smoother operations, low maintenance, energy savings, warranties and easier to clean but all that comes with a major investment.
So if you are thinking of getting replacement windows to find out these things first.
- Is your window easy to operate?
- Does condensation regularly gets collected on the glass?
- Is cleaning difficult on your window?
- Do your storm windows need replacement?
- Are your windows in bad shape and condition – scarping and painting?
Are your old windows comfortable?
If you have old, broken, inefficient and poorly sealed windows and doors it’s doing more than make your home feel colder, it’s increasing your heating bills. Single-pane windows often leave rooms feeling chilly and dry in cold weather and overheated in warm, sunny weather. Windows with double-pane glass can greatly improve the comfort of your home. They can block much of the heat of direct sunlight but still allow the light to come through (less need for shades). They’ll reduce cold drafts and the chill of cold glass. And they’ll reduce condensation so you can keep the indoor humidity at a higher, more comfortable level in cold weather. New energy-efficient windows will also save on your fuel bills but rarely enough to justify the investment if your old windows are still in good shape.
Are your old windows worth repairing?
It is possible to repair and restore your old windows up to a certain extent but it will take some time and repair tools. Although it is not always worth your efforts and expense when the problems are bigger like:
- Sagging casement (crank-out) windows
- Fogged double-pane glass
- Hard-to-find replacement hardware
What should I keep in mind while buying replacement windows?
Quality is a matter of detail. So we strongly recommend that you visit a showroom where you can compare windows of different brands or different models within the same brand to buy replacement windows. Check these features and answer these questions:
Appearance. Your windows bring out the certain personality of your house that is why it is always best to pick out the right one. Questions you should consider are: does the style of the windows blend well on the interior and exterior? Are the wood or vinyl joints well made? Do the muntins (grids that divide the glass) fit tightly and cleanly? Is the hardware attractive? Unless you’re trying to match existing window colors, choose a low-maintenance exterior (such as vinyl or aluminum) so you’ll never have to scrape and touch up the paint.
Operation. The point of getting new windows is that it makes your life easier. So always try out the display windows and see which one would be suitable and easily operated for the desired location. Do they open and close smoothly? Are the cranks, runners and locking devices solid and do they look as though they’ll withstand heavy use? Does the window latch firmly without too much effort? Does the weather-stripping fit snugly? Are the screens solidly built and easy to remove?
Cleaning. Make sure that the windows are easy to maintain and clean. Interior & exterior.
Service. Are parts available if something should break or wear out? Can you replace the weather-stripping when it wears out? Both these questions favor window companies with long track records because they’ll likely serve their customers well into the future. If the glass breaks or fogs, how difficult and costly is the replacement?
Warranties. Compare the warranties for parts and finishes. Probably the most frustrating (and expensive) problem is the failure of the seal between double pane glass and the resulting fog. Look for a warranty that covers glass replacement for up to 20 years. Note: Keep the receipt for your window purchase and the warranty in your records.
Glass selection. Double-pane glass windows are energy efficient windows and are usually standard now. Most manufacturers have two variations of this type of glass, one designed for cold climates and one designed to control sunlight in warmer climates. So always choose accordingly depending on where you live.
If you have any questions ask the experts at Ryan Windows & Siding for more details at 507-281-6363 or visit us online at www.ryan-ws.com.