Window issues can arise no matter how new your home is. You may suspect your windows are leaking air, or you may be having trouble opening and closing windows. Or the issue may be more straightforward – you may have outdated windows, or windows that are damaged or rotting. Whatever the issue is, window replacements often offer a good return on investment, since they boost your home’s value. If you have been thinking about replacing your windows but you are not entirely sure that it is necessary, take a look at these 7 signs that you need to have your windows replaced.

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High energy bills

According to the Department of Energy, heat loss and gain through windows is responsible for 25 to 30 percent of heating and cooling energy use in residential homes. If you are noticing unusually high energy bills for your area, this may indicate that your HVAC system is working much harder than it needs to, in order to compensate for windows that are leaking air.

To determine if your energy costs are getting too high, compare your current bill to some from this time last year. You can also ask neighbors what they typically pay for their utility bills.

Condensation

If you regularly see condensation on your windows, it could be a sign that it is time to replace them. Check if the condensation forms between the two panes of glass, as this is an indicator that the seals have eroded and the window is leaking.

Problems with Opening and Closing Windows

If you wind up getting into a wrestling match every time you go to open a window, or if they will not stay open, you are missing out on enjoying that cool breeze and those sweet energy savings.

The same goes for windows that do not close properly. If the windows can not be totally closed, outside air will find its way in. It is also a safety issue if you are having to worry about your windows slamming shut on someone, or whether a burglar will be able to waltz in while you are not home. These are clear indicators that you should get your windows replaced as soon as you can.

Visible Damage

After years of exposure to UV rays, rain, wind, and freezing temperatures, your windows will develop visible damage. Over time, this damage will only get worse.

Also keep in mind that broken or misaligned windows can leave gaps big enough for mice, rats, and other animals to make your house their home.

From cracked glass to warping to broken windows, it is important to take this type of damage seriously and schedule a window replacement, before it becomes a larger issue.

Rot

This one is hard to miss: If your windows are rotting, it’s time for them to be replaced as soon as possible. Wood rot not only looks bad, but it can keep your windows from opening and closing properly. It can also make your central air conditioner unit and heater work overtime if there are gaps or cracks that let outside air in.

Age

Having old windows can impact the curb appeal of a house, so getting a window replacement can help you boost the value of your home. The age of windows is not only an aesthetic issue, however. Older windows can also create a safety hazard, especially when the windows are not up to code.

Noise

The older your windows are, the less sound insulation there will be. If you are finding that you are enjoying less and less peace and quiet—and hearing more noise from outside—this in indication that your windows are not properly sealed, or they were poorly manufactured.

If you are looking to schedule a window replacement in the near future, you can use Modernize’s cost calculator to determine the estimated cost of your window replacement project.