With regard to a window upgrade, there are quite a few ways to go about it. You could choose a low-budget upgrade such as changing the weatherstripping or applying window films. You could even choose to replace your windows entirely.


Homeowners frequently choose a window upgrade without really understanding the implications of their decision. Often they think in terms of an increased energy efficiency and the cost savings that they can experience. Another thing that is often considered is how long those windows have been installed. Although you don’t have to wait for your windows to break down before getting a replacement, it would be beneficial to have a general idea of how often your windows should be replaced.


How long do windows last?

Generally, high-quality windows should last you anywhere from 15 to 20 years before you need a replacement. A lot of vinyl window producers offer a warranty of up to 25 years, basically covering the entire lifespan of your windows.


After 15 years, it’s very likely that you will have to do quite a bit of window repairs, whether it be by adding caulking, changing weatherstripping, improving insulation, and doing any number of small things. That being said, eventually you do need a complete replacement.


These are some indications that it’s time for a replacement:


Cracked panes or frames

There are some small issues that can be fixed relatively easily, but broken panes or frames are not one of them. If you see signs of warping or breaking of your window panes or frames, opt for replacement rather than repair. Not only is it unsightly, but a damaged window is less functional. It may let in air from the outside, making your home less insulated, less energy-efficient, and more prone to bugs and other vermin.


Fog between the panes

If your windows have a single pane, you won’t have to worry about this one. If you’ve got double or triple-paned windows however, watch out for fog between the panes. It usually means that there is a small hole somewhere in the class or in the side that is allowing moisture in or air out. This makes it less efficient.


Soft frames

If you live in a humid area and have wooden frames, you are particularly vulnerable for this one. When there’s too much moisture in the air, wooden frames may eventually rot. If your frames feel soft, it’s a sign that you should replace the entire window and frame as you can expect it breaking down pretty soon.


Wind through the windows

You shouldn’t be feeling a draft through your windows, unless it is specifically designed to let in some air through a few vents. You could try caulking and weatherstripping, but if you’re still feeling a draft, opt for a replacement instead.


High energy bills

If your energy bills are increasing but your use of your cooling and heating systems have remained the same, it may be a sign that your windows aren’t as functional anymore. Whether it be because of poor insulation or cold drafts, it’s time for you to replace your windows with certified energy-efficient ones.


Is it time for a replacement?

If your windows are showing signs of needing replacement, you can choose between retrofitting the windows you’ve already got and completely replacing them. Evaluate your windows’ ability to be repaired, longevity, maintenance if you retrofit, and how much you’re willing to spend. To make the best choice, consult an energy expert to ensure that you are getting the best ROI. If your windows haven’t been changed in a couple decades though, we’d advise you to do a complete replacement and take advantage of new window technology.


Universal Windows Syracuse specializes in window replacement services in the Syracuse area. get in touch to see how we can help today!