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What Your Windows are Telling You

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Whether you realize it or not, your home’s windows are trying to tell you something. Are you listening? If you are like most homeowners, probably not. When it comes to the windows in our homes, many of us don’t give them a second thought. So long as they open and close, keep inclement weather out and we are able to see out of them, we assume that they are fine, but this isn’t always the case. There are a number of signs our windows give us that can tell us when they need to be replaced. By knowing what to look for you can save yourself a lot of money. Below are ways you can determine when your windows need to be replaced and when they don’t.

Window Condensation

When it comes to our windows many of us assume condensation to be relatively harmless. However, depending on where the condensation is forming, it can be a giant red flag that you need to replace your home’s windows.

The majority of home windows are made of 2 or 3 layers of glass that are separated by a seal known as a “spacer.” The spaces between these panes of glass are typically filled with a special insulating gas, such as argon, that helps to improve the insulative qualities of the window. When condensation builds up in that area, it is an indication that the seals meant to keep the gas between the glass panes have failed, allowing the insulative gas to leak out and water vapor to get in. As a result the window is not only difficult to see out of when the condensation builds up, it is also far less energy efficient and should be replaced.

While not as serious as condensation between glass panes, condensation that accumulates where the window sashes meet on double hung windows is still cause for concern. This type of condensation build up indicates that the seals between the upper and lower window sashes have failed, allowing outside air in and reducing your windows energy efficiency. While most window repair companies can fix this problem, depending on the age of your windows it might be more cost effective in the long run to replace them rather than repair them.

In comparison, windows that have condensation that forms along the bottom or in the corners of the window, but not between the panes of glass, is far less serious and means either the moisture level in your home is high or your home is not adequately ventilated.

Windows Not Opening or Closing Properly

There are a number of factors that can cause a window to be difficult to open or close or prevent it from staying open, depending on the type of window you have and the material it is made from. Wooden windows are notorious for sticking, especially when it is humid or damp. This is because moisture can cause wooden windows to swell, decreasing the space between the frame and the track the sash slides on, making the window much more difficult to open or close. While in some cases this problem can be remedied by simply sanding the window frames in order to allow the window to slide on the tracks better, there is a catch. If the window tracks are sanded too much they can allow outside air in, causing the window to be drafty. In this case replacing wooden windows with windows that are not as susceptible to swelling can solve this issue once and for all.

If you notice that your windows won’t open or close easily or won’t stay open without being propped and swelling is not the problem, then it may very well be the hardware inside the window that is causing the problem. Almost all windows have an assortment of springs and mechanisms that are designed to make opening the window easier and helps to keep them open. Over time these springs and mechanisms can wear out or break, causing the window to become more difficult to open or close or to not stay open like it should. Depending on the age and style of your windows, you might be able to have these parts replaced. However, finding the parts and replacing them can be rather challenging, especially if you are unfamiliar with them. In some cases it can be more cost effective to replace the window then repair it.

Author Bio:

Jay Lillien is the owner of 303Windows. For the past 18 years, 303Windows has been dedicated to providing their customers the best service possible. As part of their commitment to their customers, 303Windows installs only Amerimax Windows. These windows are built to withstand the extreme Colorado climate that causes most other windows to fail.

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