In general, you probably don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about your windows. They’re really the kind of thing you only think about if there’s a problem with them, and it makes sense… they’re meant to be looked through, not at!
However, all windows do have a lifespan. Your car windshield, for example, will most likely only last for five years or so, if you drive very frequently. Of course, your windshield could last a lot longer if you don’t drive as much, or if you just have good luck. But a car windshield that has sustained damage, like cracks or chips, will most likely need to be replaced pretty soon.
How long do residential windows last?
Luckily, windows in the home will most likely last for 15-20 years– which is good, since replacing windows can be quite an investment.
This estimated lifespan can differ depending on many factors, like the materials that the windows are made from, and your geographical location.
Windows that work perfectly in a climate that’s consistently warm might not work as well in a humid continental climate like the American Midwest. A humid continental climate is one that varies greatly between seasons, but gets precipitation all year.
Glass expands when it’s heated and contracts when it’s cold, and the climate in the American Midwest can change rapidly. These kinds of rapid change can cause stress on the glass, eventually resulting in damage or breakage.
What are some signs that I should replace my windows?
Even if your windows look fine, you might still be due for a replacement. There are a few telltale signs you should pay attention to that can let you know when you should start preparing to replace the windows in your home.
Change in energy bills
If you’ve been living in the same house for a while, chances are good that you know what to expect from your energy bills regardless of season. They’re probably a little higher when the weather is very cold or hot, but you’re used to it.
You should take note, however, if your energy bills are much higher than usual. This can be a sign that your home isn’t running as efficiently as it could be. While higher energy bills can be the result of many things– including a faulty or poorly maintained HVAC system– if your windows are 15-20 years old, they might be the culprit.
Windows that have passed their prime have typically lost the seal that’s necessary to, well, seal the indoors from the outdoor environment. This means that extra air can escape, making your HVAC system work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature.
If you’re relaxing at home and happen to feel a draft, or a mysterious breeze, chances are good that the seal on your windows has loosened up enough to allow outside air to enter the home.
Not only is this bad for your energy bills, it also means that unwanted visitors (like spiders, ants, and other insects) can easily enter your home.
If you notice that your windows look foggy or have collected condensation between the panes, this is a surefire sign that something isn’t right. The space between the two panes should stay dry, and if water is entering the space it means that there’s a problem with the window seal.
Call for a consultation
If you’re experiencing higher energy bills but aren’t sure whether it’s time to replace your windows or try something else, give the experts here at Autobahn a call. We’d be happy to give you a consultation to let you know whether residential window tinting will help block light and heat from entering your space, bringing your energy bills right back down where they belong.