Changing leaves and cooler temperatures make it clear that winter is quickly heading our way. As outside temperatures drop, you might also notice a similar drop inside your home. If you’re still struggling to stay warm inside — even with the heater running — then it might be because old or damaged windows are allowing cold air into your home.
When windows become old or damaged, they allow the warm air from your heater to escape while letting cold outdoor air slip inside. Because windows make up a significant percentage of your home’s exterior, a lot of warm air could potentially be lost. Besides making your house cold and uncomfortable, this also makes your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) unit work harder than it should.
On average, more than half of the energy your home uses is from heating and cooling. That means most of what you pay in monthly energy bills comes from how you heat and cool your home. If your windows are in bad shape, that’s a lot of money that’s being thrown out the window.
Although window replacement might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re contemplating winter home improvement projects, this is actually the perfect time to address the energy loss your old, damaged windows are causing.
Can I Replace My Windows in the Winter?
If you’re wondering what’s the best time of year to replace windows, the answer may surprise you. Many homeowners consider window replacement a warm-weather project, but winter is a great time to have new windows installed. Even in the Northeast, where winters tend to be colder, having windows installed over the cold months can save you money — and time. How?
Wintertime installation allows you to take advantage of a window installation company’s slow season, meaning you might be able to get new windows at a better price. Winter is a great time to use special promotions and discounts that window suppliers allow installation companies to offer to their customers.
There are fewer benefits like this in the spring and summer because those are peak times for window installation. Window companies also have more flexibility in their schedules because demand is down. This means you’re likely to get those new windows installed much sooner.
The cold also helps with identifying which windows need to be replaced. As you walk from room to room, note which rooms are colder and where draft sources are located. Drafty windows are fairly easy to identify when there’s cold air pouring through cracks or crevices in or around them. During the warmer months, you may not be as likely to notice which windows are causing problems, especially if there aren’t any visible cracks or breaks.
When our clients ask us if it’s OK to replace windows in the winter, they’re usually concerned about their homes being exposed to cold, outside air during installation. They’re often surprised to hear that wintertime window replacement isn’t as frigid a prospect as they might think. Experienced installers, such as our employees at Homespire Windows and Doors, know how to minimize the disruption to your daily life and keep the cold air from disturbing your day.
How can a high-quality window installation company make adding new windows easier for clients? Here are a few ways:
1. Replacing Windows One at a Time
Our installers replace one window at a time to minimize the amount of outdoor air that’s let inside. But that doesn’t mean installation goes slowly. When you hire Homespire to replace windows, you also get our guarantee for quick service. Our experienced installers can replace up to eight windows in one day, meaning the process moves quickly and minimizes the amount of time your home is exposed to cold air.
2. Closing Interior Doors
Closing interior doors prevents cold air from circulating throughout your house. You can do this prior to installation, or the installation team can do it before they get to work. A good installer will also be sure to keep interior messes to a minimum and clean up anything they might leave behind. If they enter your home, the installation team will wear protective gear on their shoes to avoid tracking in mud, melted snow, and other wintertime debris.
3. Putting Up Plastic Walls
In large rooms or areas of the home that don’t have a door to close, installers can erect plastic floor-to-ceiling walls that will block the cold air and prevent it from circulating around your home. That way, you can stay comfortable during installation without worrying about places in your house that would otherwise be exposed to the elements.
Top 6 Reasons to Replace Your Windows During the Winter
Winter can be the perfect time to take advantage of low prices and installer availability, but there’s more to it than that. Wintertime installation offers many benefits for you and your home. If you’re in the market for window replacement, winter might be the right time to take the plunge. Why is that? Here are six reasons why winter window installation is popular and even recommended:
1. Old Windows Can Lead to Mold and Mildew
Worn-out windows are susceptible to mold and mildew. In some cases, they may be exposed to too much water because they’re near the ground or under a leaky gutter. In other situations, they may be allowing moisture from the outside to make its way indoors. However it happens, moisture exposure over time can allow mold and mildew to grow on or around your windows.
One or two small patches of mold probably won’t hurt anyone, but it can be a warning sign that bigger problems are occurring. And, if you have family members with allergies, asthma, or other health problems, the presence of any mold or mildew can have serious health implications.
2. Damaged Windows Will Hurt Your Wallet
If you wait until next spring to replace old, leaky windows, your HVAC will have to work harder than it needs to warm your home. That means higher monthly energy costs and an increased risk that your HVAC will get damaged while trying to keep up. Those increased energy costs add up, especially if you also have to throw in a service call to clean or repair an overworked HVAC system.
The longer you put off replacing old or damaged windows, the more energy — and money — you’ll spend heating your home.
3. Winter Weather Helps Identify Window Issues
As we mentioned before, cold weather can help you identify problem areas with your windows. In older homes, sometimes all the windows cause problems. More often, there may be a handful of problem windows making certain areas of the house uncomfortable.
As the air turns cold, paying close attention to rooms that are most uncomfortable can help you narrow down which windows need to be replaced. Although some issues may still be visible during the summer months, especially if there’s damage to a window, smaller cracks and gaps aren’t always as easy to spot.
4. Off-Season Prices Can’t Be Beat
Who wants to pay more than they have to? Wintertime is considered the “off-season” for window replacement, which means product demand goes down. During that time, our suppliers can give us the green light to offer special deals and promotions that aren’t available in the warmer months. This can translate into huge savings for our customers.
5. Damaged Windows Decrease Curb Appeal
Wreaths, lights, and — broken windows? Damaged windows are a big downer for your home’s holiday curb appeal. Replacing old or damaged windows before everyone comes home for the holidays will go a long way toward creating a picture-perfect experience. After all, there’s nothing like a warm, inviting place to relax while you enjoy the season with your loved ones.
6. Installation Dates Are More Flexible
You may save on the cost of the windows themselves, but you’ll also find that your new windows will be installed more quickly. Since schedules aren’t as booked, you can have more say in when your windows are installed, and you won’t have to wait as long for installation to happen.
This offers more convenience for you, and it can also translate into energy bill savings — even as much as 35%. You won’t spend as much time in the winter paying for all that cold air coming in through your old windows.
Knowing When It’s Time to Replace Your Windows
Not sure if window replacement is in your future? Sometimes it’s obvious that a window is damaged or has outlived its ability to provide protection and insulation to your home. Other times, it’s not as obvious. Although each house is different, there are a few telltale signs that it might be time to consider upgrading to new energy-efficient windows:
1. Cracks or Gaps in the Caulking Around the Window
Walk around your house and closely inspect each window, looking at the caulking used to seal the gap between the frame and walls of your house. If you see any gaps or missing caulk, this could signal that the windows were improperly installed or are letting in cold air and moisture.
Maybe you’ve known about the cracks around your older windows and tried to use caulk or foam to fill them, only to see them appear again. Or perhaps your windows just weren’t installed properly, and you’ve been dealing with gaps around the frames for a long time. Whatever the case, there’s no reason to keep fighting with cracks or gaps year after year. New windows installed by seasoned installation technicians can fix the problem quickly.
2. Worn Weatherstripping
Weatherstripping seals the small gap that may be created between the window sash and frame. Over time, it may become worn or torn in places, making it incapable of preventing cold air from coming into a home. As you inspect your home’s windows, look at the weatherstripping along the bottom of the sash. If it’s cracked or chipped or coming off the window, it’s probably not doing its job anymore.
In some cases, weatherstripping replacement may be a solution. If your windows are old or damaged, this can also be a sign they aren’t working as intended anymore.
3. Cracks or Wear in Seals
Double- and triple-pane windows consist of several layers of glass. The air in-between each layer is sealed — often with a gas — to reduce the transfer of exterior cold air into your home. When the seal between the layers of glass becomes compromised, you might notice condensation building up inside the glass panes. Over time, this condensation may become heavier because there’s no way to reach in there and dry out the moisture.
In some cases, a broken seal can cause the glass panes to become cracked or bend toward your home’s interior, thereby distorting the glass. This issue presents more problems than just being unsightly. When a window seal is broken, it can no longer provide the same level of protection and insulation it did before. That can result in colder temperatures inside your home.
4. Humidity Levels
If you’ve ever boiled a pot of pasta on a cold winter evening, you’ve probably noticed condensation on your kitchen window. Condensation happens when warm, humid air collides with cold air. Occasional condensation happens, but if this is a regular occurrence in your home because of higher humidity levels, your older windows have most likely been subjected to repeated moisture exposure. Over time, that moisture can create mold and mildew, and it can cause the window frame to become warped and rotted.
Old or damaged windows may also allow humidity from outdoors to make its way inside your home, raising the humidity levels and making your house more susceptible to mold and mildew. HVAC systems help regulate humidity levels indoors, but if your windows allow excess moisture into your home, your HVAC unit is likely working overtime to keep up.
Are Replacement Windows a Good Investment?
Replacing your windows can lower energy costs, make your home more comfortable year-round, and improve your overall curb appeal. That makes new windows one of the best investments you can make as a homeowner. A recent study found that homeowners who opt to replace old windows with new ones will see a 74% return on investment when they sell. In other words, installing new windows benefits you now and later.
At Homespire Windows and Doors, our goal is to sell our customers in the Tri-State area high-quality, Made-in-the-USA certified products that improve your home’s appearance and comfort throughout the year. We’re also committed to providing you with expert installation, even in the cold winter months. Our experienced installation team lives in Mid-Atlantic region too, which means we know firsthand the challenges that come with our climate. Our goal is always to work quickly and efficiently, making sure your family isn’t left out in the cold.
Our 25 years of home improvement experience is backed by a true lifetime warranty that covers windows and installation because your comfort is our ultimate goal. If you’re tired of drafty and unsightly old windows, let Homespire help. Contact us for a free window analysis today.