Replace or Repair?
In ancient times, windows were as common as doors in
dwellings, but they were merely holes in walls used to
control the amount of light and air that entered a home.
Appearance and style were not a consideration.
We've come a long way since then. Today windows in most
homes combine science and technologies that increase
energy efficiency and actually reduce heating and air
Modern windows not only beautify the appearance of a home,
they bring sunlight in during winter, while preventing the
warmth created from escaping outdoors. Windows also
insulate a home from heat during the summer and keep
cooled air from escaping.
When deciding whether to repair or replace your existing
windows, begin by considering their age and condition.
Poorly designed, constructed and placed windows can cost
money through heat loss.
If your home is more than 30 years old and still has the
original windows, chances are that your windows are not
keeping you as warm or as cool as well-placed and
installed newer models. But there are measures you can
take to increase their efficiency:
tighten the seal around the windows with weatherstripping.
There are many different types of weather-stripping
available for use on wood, metal, aluminum and vinyl. One
of the easiest to apply is caulking cord which comes in a
roll. All you do is press the cord into place to make a
every window not made of insulated glass should have a
storm window. If your home has storm windows, ensure they
are in good condition and install them properly before the
cold season begins. When those icy winter winds start
blowing, both you and your pocketbook will notice.
if your home doesn't have storm windows, or they are in
poor condition, you can get as good or better protection
using heavy-gauge clear plastic sheeting. Seal it tightly
over your existing windows and you have an inexpensive and
Replacing existing windows
with more energy efficient models doesn't have to be done
all at once. Begin by replacing the ones causing the most
heat loss, such as the large picture windows in your
living and dining rooms. Replacing windows in stages over
a period of years costs less up front and still increases
With the variety of windows on the market today, however,
it pays to shop around. Before making a decision, consider
the principle types of windows available.
The common window types are double-hung, casement,
stationary, awning and horizontal sliding. They may be
made of wood, aluminum or vinyl or a combination of these
materials. Almost all feature insulated glass and
easy-to-clean designs that provide tight seals and
Whether you plan to install the new windows yourself or
have them installed professionally, be sure to visit a
number of suppliers and study the various products and
options on the market. You want to select windows that
augment the appearance of your home, increase energy
efficiency and give you the most value for your money.