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A Primer on When to Buy Replacement Windows

By: Allison Millar, Contributing Writer
In: Product review
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If you’re living in a cold climate, you might be noticing a few drafts coming from your windows. Do you need a quick fix, like weather stripping, or are replacement windows in order?

Why Replacement Windows

Replacement windows can provide a great boost to your energy efficiency and improve the look and feel of your home. They are an investment, however, so make sure your existing windows are really at the end of their lifespan. If they are, it’s time to shop for windows.

Here are telltale signs that you need replacement windows.

  • Your windows don’t open and close properly. Some windows are just painted shut, but if yours don’t operate properly because they are damaged or have warped over the years, it’s time to consider replacement windows.
  • They are missing parts or the parts are misaligned. Some older windows move sideways in the frame because of broken or missing stops along the sides. This can create huge air leaks that reduce energy efficiency. Ask a handyman to fix the stops, but if that doesn’t work, it’s time to shop for windows.
  • You have single pane windows. They lack the thickness and insulating qualities to keep out extreme temperatures. These types of windows might be fine for awhile, but if the air leak is too severe or other problems surface, start looking for new windows.
  • There’s condensation in the glass. This can be a sign that the thermal qualities of the window are not present. In many cases, it’s time to shop for new windows.

If you decide to shop for new windows, consider these tips for pricing replacement windows. Always work through a qualified contractor and shop around for the windows. If you’re curious about how much you can save, try this handy chart from Energy Star.

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  1. One Response to “A Primer on When to Buy Replacement Windows”

  2. jamie
    Jan 12, 2011

    You may be able to get a tax rebate on new windows. I know that the FED was offering a $1500 rebate last year, but I am not sure about 2011.

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