When installations such as glass windows and doors are a constant in your home, it’s easy to forget there are mandatory checks necessary to increase energy efficiency and protect the vulnerable areas in your property.
Fortunately, the lifespan for new and high-quality windows is 15-20 years. This means you don’t need to check too often. However, due to the minimal care needed, we’re not as well-equipped as we should be at spotting the giveaway signs for when our windows do need replacing.
What should I be looking for?
Naturally, energy bills will be different month upon month, depending on usage. However, if you’ve noticed your energy bills are considerably higher and appear to be continuing to increase over the last few months, this may be a result of weakened windows. At the same time, you should check your windows for any of the following points to identify the cause of your rising energy bills.
Generally, the space around the window will be cool because it’s the outer edge of your property. Nevertheless, if the temperature remains cold even with the heating cranked up high, or you can hear the wind squeezing through an opening, this is a common sign that your windows need to be replaced.
Moisture between the windows
The appearance of condensation between your window panels suggests that your window is lifting away from the seal or that an opening has formed within the window. This allows moisture to collect on the inside. Without the replacement of new windows, it’s near impossible to remove the moisture and will make it harder for natural light to fill your house.
Rotten or discoloured edges
As a result of elements and weather conditions, both UPVC and wooden edges will discolour and rot over time. When this occurs, try a few methods to recover this, but if the situation continues to appear then the likelihood of needing to replace your windows is high, as the wear and tear will culminate in weakened seals.
Sound-proofing has faded
Of course, windows aren’t exclusively soundproof, but they do keep some level of noise in and work as a factor to keep most of the outside world out. However, when you start to notice that you can hear everyday conversations happening on the outside, this is when it’s time to realise that there may be an opening somewhere in your windows.
Trouble opening and closing windows
Ultimately, this isn’t a serious concern and most often won’t lead to a full replacement of your windows but will often mean either a new lock mechanism needs to be purchased or the openings should be lubricated to enable a smooth flow.
First time replacing your windows?
If you’re unsure on whether your windows desperately need to be replaced or if they only need to be cleaned up and resealed, then you’ve always got the option of contacting a glazing expert for their opinion before spending a considerable amount on window installation.
Prolong your window lifespan
There are a handful of easy and inexpensive tips that you can try out to improve energy efficiency in your home before making the decision to invest in new windows. Take note of the few below to enhance your chances of getting a full 15-20 years out of them.
When your windows start to stiffen up, it doesn’t necessarily mean that these parts need to be replaced, but more an indication to apply some TLC. In this instance, save yourself some pennies and purchase a silicone spray. This will allow you to cover the hinges and locking mechanism with ease. Spend a couple of minutes opening and closing the window to work the spray in and install a smooth motion.
A pamper treatment
Depending on the material and condition of your edges, you could fix your issue with a simple refurbish. If the actual seal isn’t lifting away and doesn’t appear to be letting any cold air in, then the seal isn’t weakening, just wearing over time. In this case, carry out a little well-needed care for your edges, whether this is applying a fresh lick of paint to your discoloured wooden edges, or washing dirty marks and mould that’s starting to appear on your UPVC seal.
Experts would suggest this tip as an extra precaution from the outset for all windows, but it’s never too late to carry out. For homeowners who are getting close to the end of their windows life expectancy but would like to conjure up a bit more time before this arrives, this will be especially helpful. Use adhesive-backed foam as a barrier to carry out weather stripping, this should help to keep out the window, rain, dust, and insects outside until you’re ready to install new windows.
Certainly, windows are not a feature you often replace or update in your home, but there’s plenty of options to decrease the amount of energy you use in your home before paying out a large expense.