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Three ways to know when you need new windows

By Gates Dearen


Do you live in a house that is 20 years old or even older? The neighbourhood I live in was built in the 1980’s. The other day I noticed that one of the older homes in my neighbourhood looked very different. I stopped and noticed how nice it looked. Then it dawned on me what had changed. They got new windows. I had changed out the windows in my house about a year ago and had gotten used to the advantages my new windows brought with them.

In this article, I want to share with you how I decided that my house needed new windows. I came up with three easy questions anyone can answer. Enjoy my ideas and maybe you too will upgrade your home by getting new windows installed. Here are three simple tests that you as a homeowner can do, when considering replacing your windows. Here is a link to some short videos with customers describing the decision making process.

Test #1 – The Candlelight test!


Candlelight
Candlelight (Photo credit: UnnarYmir)

Stand near your window with a lighter or candle. If you see the flame flicker or go out, it is obvious that you have a drafty window. If this is the case, you know you can save money by replacing this window.  Often the weather stripping begins to fail and the caulk starts to fall off. This is caused by the normal ravages of time. Now you can replace the weather stripping in some windows, (if new windows are not in your budget).  If you are not very handy at fixing things or if you have a two story house and you prefer not getting up on ladders, hire a qualified windows repair center or Handyman service. Our company performs these services on a regular basis and one of our technicians would be happy to come out and provide you with an estimate. 



Test #2  - The Stay test!



The second procedure you can do is to open the window. If the window will not stay up on its own and needs to be propped, it’s another clear sign that it is time for replacing. In some cases it may be less expensive to replace a window than to replace the balances in the window. In addition, if you have difficulty opening the window, it could be from the window swelling, if it is made from wood. It can also mean that the opening is no longer square do to house or foundation settling.



Test#3 – The Radiating test!

Now the third is simple, just sit near the window and see if you can feel the coolness radiating from the window on a cold day. Conversely, see if you can feel warmth on a hot day. If you can clearly feel the heat or cold, it is a clear indication that your windows are failing to do their job.
Typically, one of two things cause this. First, some windows are just inferior and transfer heat and or cold. Poor quality windows cost less up front but waste energy every day you own them. Second, it can be caused by the breakdown of the weather stripping and insulation in the window itself. If this is the case, replace the window.

If you have decided to replace the windows, keep these items in mind. First decide what kind of material the windows will be made from. Will it be made from wood, aluminium or vinyl. Remember you want to match the existing windows color, look and feel if you’re not replacing all of them. Stick with same color unless you're also changing the color of your home.
If you’re looking to also add some additional functionality and beauty, consider adding a Bay window. If you’re thinking about selling your home, replacing windows is a great way to stand out. Keep in mind that replacing your windows does add value to your home and certainly gives the home more eye appeal to prospective buyers.

Don’t forget Tax advantages!

There usually are tax deductions, (or credits) when replacing your windows. Your sales consultant can tell you what those are. In addition, double check with your accountant to make sure that you meet the government guidelines for your specific tax situation.

Tax Credits Deadline 31 July
Tax Credits Deadline 31 July (Photo credit: HM Revenue & Customs)
In summary, I have provided three tests that help determine if your windows need to be replaced. There are many things to consider when it comes to replacing your windows. It’s always exciting when the job has been completed and you’re standing there admiring the beauty that new windows bring. You will also realize every time you drive up to your home that your new windows are saving money through energy efficiency. In the end, new windows pay for themselves in just a few years. If this article was helpful, pass it on to your friends. If you disagree or have other thoughts, we want you to share them with our readers, too.  


Gates Dearen is the co-owner of HomeRite Windows and Door in Jacksonville Florida.  Owners Gates Dearen and Richard Walden have been serving the building products industry in Florida for over 25 years. They know the products, the industry, the market and what adds great value to a home. “Their approach is a little different. They are simply looking to match the home owner with the right windows for their home and   budget. Home improvements are enough of a hassle – we’re here to make life easier with first-rate, energy efficient products, affordable prices, installers that know best practices and respect of your home.



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