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When Good Windows Go Bad

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By Gates Dearen 

Drive through any neighborhood in Northeast Florida built before 2000 and you’ll probably see windows that are outdated, unattractive, and provide poor energy efficiency. For example, many homes built more than fifteen years ago featured single-pane windows with aluminum frames. They once were state-of-the-art, but they’re not anymore. Another popular style from the last century was jalousie windows with glass louvers. There are also many old casement windows which no longer close all the way.

Four Ways to Determine Whether it’s Time for New Windows

1.      Take a good look from outside. Along with the condition of the lawn and the paint or siding, the windows are one of the most important contributors to the curb appeal of any house. Windows can enhance the appearance of a home or they can detract from it and make the home look run-down. The difference between houses that have modern windows and those that do not is very obvious.
2.      Take a look inside. If you consistently see moisture on the inside of your windows, it’s an indication that your windows need to be replaced. In addition, old windows don’t provide protection
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from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. This can result in fading in carpets, rugs, and furniture. Upgrading to more energy efficient windows can reduce this type of fading and extend the life of household items.
3.      Check for drafts. During the winter months, it’s very easy to feel cold air coming in through old windows. When it gets hot out and the AC is running, check outside around old windows to see if cold air is seeping out of the house, along with your hard-earned money. 
4.      Open and close the windows. This should be easy with windows that are operating correctly. There should be no sticking. If the windows rattle when you open and close them, they have probably loosened up over the years. Windows that no longer seal properly allow air to pass through like vents to the outdoors. Also, the locks should open and close easily. If they don’t open easily, you probably won’t use the windows for ventilation very often. If they don’t lock easily, that could create a security problem for you and your family.

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One of the primary reasons for updating windows is to improve energy efficiency. Old windows that don’t seal properly cost homeowners money on their electric bills. With the high cost of electricity, nobody wants an electric bill that’s higher than it has to be.

New windows can dramatically improve the energy efficiency of a home. Modern windows pay for themselves over time through savings on electric bills. Also, windows that keep the cold air in during the summer and out during the winter reduce wear and tear on a home’s AC and heating system. Those systems are very expensive to repair and replace. When they don’t have to run as much, they last longer.

Modern Windows

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Window design has improved a great deal over the past few decades. The materials used and the overall quality of windows is better than ever. Double-pane windows are now the norm in replacement windows and they are far more effective for insulating a house from the elements than antiquated single-pane windows.

Aluminum was popular for a long time and excellent windows are still being made with aluminum.  On the other hand, vinyl has become the material of choice for many installations. One of the nicest things about new vinyl and aluminum windows is that they don’t require a lot of maintenance. They don’t need to be painted year after year to maintain a beautiful appearance.

Wind Protection

Jacksonville hasn’t had a direct hit from a hurricane since Dora in 1964. On the other hand, residents
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of Northeast Florida encounter tropical storm force winds with alarming frequency. New windows that comply with current construction codes provide far better protection from high winds than windows built into many homes in decades gone by. For extra protection from high wind and debris, impact windows with strengthening material between the panes of glass are very effective.  The cost differential for many people is well worth it versus the expense of repairing the damage caused by a storm flooding your home.

Noise Reduction

In addition to reducing energy costs and improving the appearance of a home, new windows can reduce the levels of noise from outside. Upgraded windows keep unwanted sound out as well as the weather. If noise from street traffic or the neighborhood children is bothersome, new windows can make an enormous difference. The peace and quiet some homeowners experience after installing updated windows is often a very pleasant surprise.

Select the Right Windows

There are more choices in windows now than ever before. Options include aluminum and vinyl, single-hung windows, double-hung windows, casement windows, and specialty windows. The possibilities aren’t endless, but they can be challenging to sort out. A professional window contractor will help homeowners select windows that will make any home more attractive and energy efficient.

Measurements are one of the keys to a good installation. Windows that don’t fit the openings properly may be prone to warping when the weather changes. Another important factor for a successful installation is trained and experienced installers. HomeRite Windows and Doors will get the measurements right and will install the windows correctly so that they fit perfectly, operate smoothly, and look beautiful.

In this article, I have provided some of the key things to help you determine if it’s time to replace their windows. It is an investment that can pay off in energy saving and add beauty, value and comfort to their home. 

Here are some related article you may want to also read.  Small Windows That Make a Big StatementHow Do You Check for a Leaky House? and Enhance Your Home’s Curb Appeal.
If you would like to receive an official factory authorized 30% discount coupon for your next window replacement purchase, print out this article with the coupon on it and bring it with you when visiting HomeRite.

Gates Dearen is the co-owner of HomeRite Windows and Doors in Jacksonville, Florida. Owners 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 somewhat different than others.  They strive to match the homeowner with the right windows and doors for their home and budget.  They know that some home improvement projects can be a hassle.  They strive to make the process pleasant with first-rate, energy efficient products; affordable prices; and expert, award-wining installers that employ the best practices and who respect your home as if it were their own.

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  1. New windows make such a difference on an old home. I live in the historic district of St Augustine and personally can attest to the need for new windows!

  2. Check your windows and save money, I did!

  3. I liked the tips on how to figure out it you need new windows. Also, I never thought much about how new windows might reduce noise levels from outside.

  4. Excellent rundown on reasons to pay more attention to your windows, especially if they are older (over 15 years), and the many benefits of new windows. Well done.

  5. Leaky windows are the quickest ways to watch your money go up in smoke.

  6. The right windows make all the difference!

  7. Energy efficiency windows overall efficiency ratings are clearly displayed on labels attached to each unit. All major brands of windows are rated for air leakage by The National Fenestration Registration Council (NFRC) rates, U-value, and heat-blocking ability –three qualities that determine overall energy efficiency.

  8. Energy efficiency windows overall efficiency ratings are clearly displayed on labels attached to each unit. All major brands of windows are rated for air leakage by The National Fenestration Registration Council (NFRC) rates, U-value, and heat-blocking ability –three qualities that determine overall energy efficiency.

  9. Window replacement represents one of the more substantial investments you can make in your home. The replacement of old or under-performing windows can effectively reduce your monthly utility costs and give your home a bit more curb appeal. 
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  10. Very good post, full of information on the labels and certificates, very informative indeed!