It is difficult to overstate the importance of windows. They keep our house full of light, warmth and comfort. During summer, the windows keep the house cool, while in the winter they trap the heat in to create a cocoon of warmth within. But like most things exposed to elements, windows have a limited lifespan. So, if you see the wood chipping away or feel that draught reaching right into your bones, it is time to replace your windows.
Decaying windows also cause mold and mildew formation, which can ruin your interiors. Poor insulation can cause your energy bills to go through the roof. Keeping your windows in ship-shape is very important, and many homeowners prefer replacement over the repair to avoid frequent maintenance costs.
However, decay is not the only reason why owners think of replacing the windows. New windows look great, easy to maintain, save energy, block noise and heat, and sometimes are even good for the environment. Let’s look at some of the common reasons why homeowners replace their windows.
As mentioned before, exposure to rain, sun, sleet, and snow takes its toll and windows start showing some tell-tale signs of decay. For instance, the seal of the windows on double panes chip off, leaving behind a foggy window that is impossible to clean or see-through. A simple repair might solve the problem, but if the frames are warped or has holes in them, replacement is only option.
Another common issue is that the windows are not closing or sealing off properly, making your room cold and damp. If you notice water gathering on the glass pane, this is the case. You will have your heater running non-stop, yet the room will never reach the comfort levels you desire. Old, single glass pane windows are more susceptible to such damage, and replacing them is the best solution.
Sometimes, even when the windows are working fine, they fail to provide proper insulation. Considering windows are responsible for the loss of up to 25% of the heat generated by your heater, properly insulated windows are absolutely mandatory. If single-paned glass windows or old double-paned windows are not providing insulation, then it is time to think of a replacement.
Sometimes, the windows might just not sync with the overall décor of the house. Considering the central role windows play in enhancing the beauty of the house, many homeowners like to change the window frames to go with their choice of décor.
How Much Does It Cost?
Replacing windows can be an expensive business. So, the cost is bound to be a dominant theme throughout the selection process. Your choice of material, the size, and the style of the window will moderate the final price.
Double glazed vinyl or PVC windows are the most common choice when it comes to new windows. If you are going to complete installation, a standard-sized, double glazed window will cost anywhere between $450 and $600.
Advantages of PVC Windows
Low Cost: The cost factor is primarily the biggest driver of its popularity. They are cheaper than wooden and aluminum frames and come with more benefits.
Insulation: PVC windows have great insulation properties. The material is synthetically manufactured to achieve maximum insulation.
Durability: Its synthetic make provides greater durability against elements. The plastic provides adequate protection against both wet and dry conditions, ensuring a long-life for your windows. They are also easy to maintain. The result is a hassle-free window that lasts for a long time with minimum effort on your part.
Wooden windows replacement usually costs more, with each window costing anywhere between $800 and $1000.
Advantages of Wooden Windows
There is no doubt that wooden windows are great for your curb appeal. The natural texture and rich colors definitely raise the look of the house to another level. However, homeowner’s preference for wooden windows is not just for look. Wooden windows are more nature friendly and healthy alternative to PVC windows. The synthetic materials of PVC windows disintegrate due to prolonged exposure to sun, and give off harmful chemical particles into the air, which might cause health hazards.
Wood is a bad conductor of heat. This quality makes it perfect for achieving greater insulation. The heat generated inside, or outside the house simply fails to pass through them. Wooden windows score high points over aluminum or steel windows in this respect. Other than keeping your energy bills down, wooden windows also keep outside sound to a minimum, keeping your home warm and peaceful.
With proper care, wooden windows can last for a long time. This is the reason why wooden window frames add greatly to the overall value of the house. It is a great investment that will last you for a lifetime.
Aluminum windows can cost anywhere between $400- and $1200 per window, which includes material costs, glass panes, exterior flashing and the trim, along with installation charges. Usually, the cost varies according to the materials selected and the size of the window.
Advantages of Aluminium Windows
Aesthetically aluminum frames have a very different appeal. Its industrial look is favored by many homeowners and the narrow frames go well with big glass panes.
Aluminum is also great for high-humidity areas. Aluminum frames are lightweight and easy to maintain. Aluminum frames also offer greater flexibility. They are easily recycled, making them extremely environmentally friendly. With very little maintenance, aluminum frames would last for years, if not decades. These qualities make them a favorite choice for industrial settings.
Whatever material you prefer, do keep the look of the house, position of the windows and the local weather conditions in mind before making the choice. Also, in a world that is moving towards greener choices, the environmental impact of your choice should also play a role in your selection. After all, the windows you select will be a permanent fixture of your home for a long, long time