Does Your Window Need Replacing? 8 Signs Of A Failing Window

If you live in an older home, you may be allowing a bulk of your heat to escape out your windows. In fact, up to 25 percent of your home's heat can escape through gaps in drafty windows and doors, according to EarthShare. Windows that are well-maintained not only provide cost-savings, but are also more functional and aesthetically-pleasing. Here's a look at some of the most common signs of a failing window that needs replacing.

1. Drafts

One of the most common signs of an inefficient window is drafts coming through, usually around the frame. To check for drafts, hold a lit candle still in front of the window's edge. If there is a draft, the candle will flicker. Move the candle around the frame of the window to see which areas are letting in the drafts.

2. Poor Performance

If you're not able to open or close your windows properly, it's time for them to be replaced. Older single hung and double hung windows can become difficult to open and close when the balance mechanism fails, causing the window to slam shut if not wedged open with an object. Windows that have been painted numerous times can also be difficult to get back open.

3. Cool or Warm Spots

With the exception of the glass itself which is naturally cooler than other materials, the frame and other window components should remain at the same temperature as inside the house. If you feel cool or warm spots near the inside of the window, it means that the windows are not adequately insulating your home.

4. Out-of-Date Style

While looks are certainly not everything, an outdated window can stand out in a modern home. Water stains, discoloration and chipping can exacerbate the outdated styles or designs, making the windows in your home become eyesores. If your windows are showing signs of wear and tear or simply don't blend well with the rest of your home, consider replacing them.

5. Glass Condensation

If you have old double-paned or triple-paned windows, you may notice fog or condensation inside the glass. When this happens, just the glass or the entire window may need to be replaced. This condensation is often caused by a seal failure that allows moisture to enter the space between the panes of glass where air then condenses on the glass.

6. Frost or Ice Buildup

If you live in a cold climate, your windows may experience a buildup of frost or ice. This is caused by poor thermal materials or inadequate insulation around the window unit. Inefficient windows transition from hot to cold air too quickly, causing frost and/or ice to form on the glass window surfaces.

7. Difficult Maintenance

Old windows can be challenging to clean and maintain. If the hassle of cleaning and repairing your windows becomes too much of a chore, consider replacing them with modern windows that are easy to clean and maintain. In some instances, replacement parts for older style windows can be difficult or even impossible to find, making replacement windows the better option.

8. High Energy Bills

If your heating and cooling bills are high and you have ruled out problems with your furnace and air conditioning system, the problem is most likely with your windows. If your windows are drafty, it is often more cost-effective to replace the windows then to continue paying high energy bills.

If your home's windows are old or damaged, it may be time for replacements. In some cases, just the glass itself can be replaced. For windows with failing frames and other components, a new window unit may be the best option. For more information about replacement windows, contact your local window manufacturer or visit