Windows play a huge role in your home's insulation and energy efficiency. Plus, a good set of windows will improve its kerb appeal, which can help you get the highest price if you come to sell.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, upgrading your home's windows from single to double glazing could save you up to £115 a year on your heating bills.
Whether you live in a period property with timber frames, or a more recent build with uPVC windows, some things can be a sign they need replacing:
If your home was built before 1970 and still has its original windows, they're likely to be single pane. These windows are lower quality, less efficient, draughty and don't block out UV rays as well, which could cause your furnishings to fade over time.
Double and triple glazed windows are far more efficient and will prevent heat loss in your home, meaning lower energy bills. You may be concerned about keeping the character of the building, but you can choose to have custom windows and frames made which will suit the period of the property.
Look around the windows and frames for visible signs of damage and wear. These may take the form of chipping and cracking, rotting frames, signs of woodworm (holes and squiggly lines in the wood), gaps or water stains around the glass.
As Perfect Crystal explains, in some cases your windows will simply need repairing rather than replacing. But usually damaged, warped or broken frames will need to be replaced.
Close the windows and run your hand around the frames – feel any cold air coming in? If so, this could be due to wear, poor installation or faulty seals, and is a sure sign your windows need replacing. The same goes if you can hear a whistling noise when the windows are shut, or if the frames rattle when it's breezy outdoors.
Faulty and worn seals will cause moisture to build up in between the panes of glass, which will show itself as frost or condensation – and will be particularly noticeable in the mornings. If the seals fail, any insulating gas used between the panes will leak out, meaning the windows will lose their energy efficiency.
If you have to grapple with the frame or handle when you want to open or close a window, it's likely the frame is warped and needs replacing. Windows that can't be closed or locked properly also pose a huge security risk to your home.
Of course, kitting out your whole house with new windows is a big investment, so it's worth getting an expert opinion as to whether they can be fixed or need replacing. If you need to upgrade, doing so could improve the energy efficiency and security of your home, while boosting its value – a triple win.
If you do choose to replace your windows, the Glass and Glazing Federation can help you find approved installers in your area. All members have signed up to a code of conduct which means you're guaranteed great customer service.
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