If you looked at your house through an infrared lens, the odds are that there are hot spots where heat escapes relative to the rest of the house. This is a standard part of energy audits. All the heat that escapes to the outside is wasted energy, heat you generated from your gas furnace or electric heaters that isn’t kept in your home. And unlike that open door that you could close to stop the loss, heat seeps out of inefficient windows 24×7. Note that heat loss in the winter also means you’re losing air-conditioned air in the summer. So here’s some information about replacing the windows in your home affordably.
How to Know If You Need Replacement Windows
Your Cincinnati home’s old cracked windows obviously let moisture in and conditioned air out. These always need to be replaced. The caveat here is that the issue may be your shifting foundation or a bent frame. If the window frame is damaged, you may want to replace the windows, frame and all. If you cannot close the windows properly, they should be replaced, though foundation work or structural issues may need to be addressed, as well. The same is true if you can close the windows but cannot lock them properly or cannot open the windows.
If the window frame looks like the paint is swollen, so much moisture is seeping in that it is being absorbed by the wall. You need, at a minimum, new windows, while the drywall may require repair. Decaying wood window frames or rotting wood around the window frames are evidence of the same issue. Damaged glazing around old single pane windows are what you’d see in historic homes.
Are You Cold?
We mentioned the loss of heat through windows. You could assess the severity of the issue with an infrared camera. However, you can test it informally yourself, as well. If you feel very cold standing in front of an exposed window compared to the rest of the house, it is probably an inefficient window. If you must put layers of insulated blinds and curtains on windows to keep your heating bills down, your windows are probably the culprit. If you are reluctant to let in natural light because the room will be colder, the windows should be replaced.
You can determine the scope of the issue with a digital thermometer. If the windows are ten or more degrees colder than the nearest side wall, you need more insulated windows. Replacing single pane windows with double pane windows and replacing double pane with triple pane windows will save you hundreds to thousands of dollars a year on your energy bills.
You could perform a “smoke test”, walking around windows with an incense stick. This should be done after all combustion appliances and exhaust vents are turned off. This creates negative pressure in the house. If the incense wafts toward a particular window, you know there is a significant air leak there and you need new windows in that area.
When You May Want to Replace Your Windows
If you’ve had foundation work done, there is a fair chance the frames are now leaking air, and windows may have cracked in the process, too. In this case, consider replacing all of your windows with energy efficient windows.
If you are continually wiping condensation from the windows, this is evidence of a leak somewhere. Whether the issue is fixed by fixing the frame or replacing the window and frame depends on the severity of the issue and the root cause.
When someone says “storm damage”, we tend to think about holes in the roof and water leaks into the attic. However, storm damage can include windows. Whether the windows have actual holes in them or cracks from the impact of hail stones, these gaps in the protective barrier allow heat out and moisture in. You should consider having the windows replace if they’ve suffered such damage.
Affordable Replacement Windows in Cincinnati
You may want to upgrade your windows before you put the house on the market. New energy efficient windows are a major selling point, since it demonstrates that the house is energy efficient and thus cheaper to live in comfortably. It also shows that you’re taking care of the property. Replace the windows before you start drawing up plans to put in a fancy kitchen. And if you are looking for a terrific price on new windows in Cincinnati, contact us today by phone, or use this handy contact form for a FREE Window Assessment.