The windows in your home deserve a lot of credit, perhaps much more than most homeowners give them. After all, they help keep unwanted things out (burglars, heat in the summertime, etc) and desired things in (heat in the wintertime, noise, etc.). This is what we expect of them at least, but these expectations can be short-lived if the unit itself is not constructed well from the onset. Here is some helpful advice for figuring out whether you may need to replace your windows due to faulty construction. Bear in mind that if this is the case, you should not put it off. A malfunctioning window is one issue that needs to be addressed as quickly as possible.
Are your windows constructed well?
- Inspect the glass and frame
- Look for insulation
- Analyze the type of window frame you have
- Consider alternatives
Inspecting your windows is a routine part of home maintenance. It is always a good idea to examine them every couple of weeks or so to make sure everything is up to par. This will probably only take a few seconds to do, but can save you a lot of money in the event that an issue is present that may have gone unnoticed had you not taken the time to look everything over.
When inspecting your window, look the frame over thoroughly. If there are any cracks or gaps present where it is installed in the wall, then make a note of it. Likewise, if the glass has cracks or appears warped, you will need to consider replacing it in the near future. The rule of thumb to follow when determining whether your windows are well-constructed is by searching for air leaks. A window that is built and installed properly will prevent any air from coming in or out. Take a lighter or candle and hold it up to the frame. If the flame goes out, then you know there is a problem somewhere. Pinpoint the trouble area and take care of it.
In order to function well, a window must be fully insulated. This means being sealed up internally and externally. Sometimes this insulation is not used adequately, or is missed in spots. You may be able to tell if this is so by simply looking at the window. If internal insulation is missing, you may need to see if a draft is present to get your answer.
If you have a window frame that is constructed out of aluminum, steel, or non-insulated wood or vinyl, then you are most likely not getting your money’s worth on your investment. These frames are not very effective in the efficiency department, and can be costly in the long term. Carefully consider the cost benefits of replacing your windows with ones that will have a lower energy footprint. There are many alternatives available, and you can often get a tax credit for replacing poorly constructed models for this reason.