Winter Window Worries
A nice breeze through an open window and no need for AC or heating, aaahhh… Early fall is the sweet spot for weather in Hampton Roads, but soon winter’s freezing temperatures and icy winds will drive up utility costs for your home. The easiest way to cut down on bills and increase energy efficiency is replacement windows!
Why replace windows?
In most homes, windows make up most of the surface area of the house’s envelope openings. If these windows are old or inefficient, air leaks in the cracks can make the temperature inside uncomfortably close to the chill outside. Also, your HVAC system will struggle to maintain its set temperature, adding wear and tear, and resulting in higher and higher heating costs.
Some other benefits of replacing your windows in the winter include the cost of the replacement itself. Contractors and installer usually have less business than usually during the colder season, particularly once holidays have past. You’ll likely be able to schedule the replacement much more quickly and easily than during other seasons. Also, some suppliers and contractors will offer incentives including discounts during the slow season.
Is it time to replace your windows?
It’s usually pretty easy to tell when it’s time to replace your windows. High-quality, well-maintained windows will typically last for around two decades. Any older and it’s definitely time to start looking for something new. Also, windows in coastal areas such as Virginia Beach or Norfolk age more quickly than those in a city such as Richmond and may need to be replaced sooner.
It’s important to consider curb appeal when it comes to your windows as well. They’re one of the most noticeable features of a house, so if they look beat up or worn down your home will too. If the color starts to fade or the material begins to warp, old windows can seriously damage your home’s appearance. Other signs or damage include foggy windows, sticking when opening and closing, and windows that won’t quite shut all the way.
Even if your windows aren’t particularly old or noticeably damaged, they may need to be replaced. Although windows let in sunlight, thus providing some extra heat in the winter, drafty windows can drive energy bills up 10-25% higher. Upgrading to a newer, more energy efficient window will save you lots during the coming cold and keep your house nice and toasty.
Once you’ve decided to replace your windows, it’s time to go about getting ready for the installation. You should try and schedule your contractor for a sunnier, warmer day to prevent the cold from creeping in while the windows are off. This is also important because the cold can cause the materials to crack, and because some sealants need 24 hours before they can be exposed to rain or water.
Contractors may adjust their base price for installation according to the work space and its condition. Some money saving tips to ensure the installation goes smoothly:
- Cut back any tree branches or shrubs that may get in your installer’s way
- Clean the area surrounding the window
- Purchase several drop cloths and floor-to-ceiling plastic sheeting to protect your home from dust, paint, and debris
- Remove curtains, blinds, and any other window treatments
- Clear furniture away from the windows and front door
- Deactivate your security system if it has window sensors
- Keep pets secured in a room away from the work
Once your energy efficient replacement windows are installed, it’s time to kick back, relax, and enjoy winter from the comfort of your warm, cozy home.
Contributor. “5 Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Windows”. Forbes. Forbes. 3 Aug 2016. Web. 21 Sept 2017. https://www.forbes.com/sites/trulia/2016/08/03/5-signs-its-time-to-replace-your-windows/#3cdf1a386927
N.a. “Don’t Fear Replacing Your Windows in the Winter”. Thompson Creek Window Company. Thompson Creek Window Company. 15 Feb 2016. Web. 20 Sept 2017. http://www.thompsoncreek.com/blog/dont-fear-replacing-your-windows-winter
Vaughan, Erin. “When Is The Best Time of Year to Replace Windows?”. Modernize. Modernize. 15 Aug 2016. Web. 20 Sept 2017. https://modernize.com/home-ideas/27025/when-is-the-best-time-of-year-to-replace-windows